Affirmative Action And Diversity Within The United States

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Affirmative action and diversity are two sides of the same coin, different but similar. The former can be described as when “leadership commits the organization to hiring and advancing minorities and women” whereas the latter is when “leadership creates an organizational culture that allows all members, minorities and women included, to reach their full potential” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p. 305). Affirmative action is the law in the United States, whereas diversity and diversity management are concepts that modern workplaces have adopted to continue the idea of affirmative action in all aspects of business, not just in recruiting and hiring. Affirmative action laws are designed to correct discriminatory hiring practices from the past, intended “for the organizational workforce to reflect the percentage of targeted groups represented in the segments of the labor force from which it recruits workers" (Combs, 2005, p. 346). Diversity management, by contrast, is intended to maintain a diverse workforce from recruiting, to hire, through promotional opportunities; essentially, for the full life cycle of the employee.
While affirmative action only applies to groups that were historically discriminated against, diversity management applies to everyone at an organization, including everyone. In addition, affirmative action establishes a standard system that everyone must adhere to regardless of company or industry, whereas diversity management is a constantly changing, ever evolving,
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