Non Discriminatory Hiring and the Workplace

Equal Opportunity employment is more or less the law of the land. One says "more or less" because there are still some pockets of resistance. However, most human resources managers now are very careful to use some form of "Affirmative Action" in their hiring process. Just what is the definition of Affirmative Action? "Affirmative Action is a policy designed to create a nondiscriminatory environment for the management of human resources and the distribution of economic benefits…It means taking a second look to be fair to everyone who applies for a job or admission to college.” (Anderson 1996 PG) What stirred up many people was not the previous blatant unfairness, whites favored over blacks or Hispanics, bosses hiring friends instead of the best qualified for the job. It was the imposition of the “second look” principle, whereby those favored prior to the Act now were feeling deprived of fairness by being forced to compete with those mandated by law to be looked at twice (i.e., tacitly preferred).
Having and maintaining a non-discriminatory workplace goes beyond hiring. It also requires an effort at employee retention. The work place has become a far more diversified action arena than ever before. There is more cultural as well as ethnic diversity. There is a vast difference in educational background, even in language or technical skills. There are more women, more older people in the work-place, as literally mandated by the Federal government. Each of these diverse characters must be motivated, must be invited to become a valuable member of the overall team. “There are six dimensions of diversity we consider prime: Age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, and sexual/affectional orientation” (Loden 1993 19). These are prime because they cannot be “changed” while secondary dimensions can: educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, etc. Everyone, not only manage…

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