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To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In Definition of affirmative action : an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women sought to achieve a multicultural staff through affirmative action also : a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons Examples of affirmative action in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web Raised in a community of Communist fellow-travelers, Dr. Thernstrom became as an adult a tenacious foe of affirmative action , gerrymandering to create minority districts, and other measures to foster racial preferences. Savage, latimes. Send us feedback.

And the proponents? And when it comes to college, the opportunity to attend generally helps foster even more opportunity beyond graduation: According to USA Todaycollege graduates earned 56 percent more than high school graduates in And as Slate points out, graduating from an elite school - which is more likely to use affirmative action - typically helps open even more doors than graduating from a less competitive school, particularly for minorities and first-generation college attendees because it helps open up professional networks.

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Plus, learning in a diverse environment not just as it pertains to race and ethnicity, but also gender, sexual orientation, and more is arguably beneficial to all students, not just minorities.

And while affirmative action critics may say the policy is outdated and unnecessary for ensuring diversity on campuses, statistics say otherwise.

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According to the National Center for Educationof the nearly 20 million students enrolled in postsecondary institutions in the fall of55 percent were white, while 14 percent were black and 17 percent were Hispanic. Affirmative action policies have helped steadily increase enrollment of minority students, whereas the lack thereof has done the opposite.

Oct 06,   Affirmative action is a policy in which an individual's color, race, sex, religion or national origin are taken into account by a business or the government in order to increase the opportunities Author: Will Kenton. Our name for this paradox is affirmative action. Its purview, like the purview of committees dating back to the Administration of Franklin Roosevelt, was the awarding of federal contracts, and Author: Louis Menand. Aug 14,   Affirmative action has long been a controversial policy, with lawsuits dating back decades. Here's what you need to know about it. Opponents of affirmative action believe the policy is Author: Emma Sarran Webster.

FiveThirtyEight reported in that in states where race-based affirmative action has been banned, black and Hispanic enrollment has suffered. What are the most common misconceptions about it? Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about affirmative action is that it gives black and Latinx applicants an unfair advantage.

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But affirmative action-style policies can be used to increase diversity in more than just racial terms. And class-based affirmative action programs can also increase socioeconomic diversity in schools. Many have argued that white women have historically benefited significantly from it.

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In fact, in the Supreme Court ruled that using racial quotas in college admissions is unconstitutional. But it is legal to consider race or another minority status as one of many factors in an admissions decision.

Affirmative Action: Should Race Be a Factor in College Admissions?

And that plays into what Cookson thinks is another misguided belief relating to affirmative action: that GPAs and test scores should be the only criteria used to evaluate applicants. Cookson emphasizes that point as well. So I think we need to broaden the discussion about that and what makes for a really healthy, diverse, inclusive, intellectually stimulating student body.

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Rather, it may mean pushing for more transparency in the process. Early implementations of affirmative action largely focused on breaking the continued social segregation of minorities from institutions and opportunities.

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Despite legislation that outlawed biased practices in the United States, tangible change in the status quo was not immediate.

Affirmative action was enacted to provide underrepresented groups a more accurate representation within key roles in government, business and academic positions.


Efforts to stimulate such change can take the form of assistance to increase the opportunities available to underrepresented groups. This aid can include grantsscholarships, and other financial support earmarked to help those segments of the population gain access to higher education.

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Hiring practices may be structured to require the inclusion of diverse candidates for job openings. Government agencies might mandate that companies and institutions populate their ranks with a minimum percentage of qualified professionals from varying ethnicities, genders, and cultures.

Affirmative action was extended to women by Executive Order which amended Executive Order on 13 October , by adding "sex" to the list of protected categories. In the U.S. affirmative action's original purpose was to pressure institutions into compliance with the nondiscrimination mandate of the Civil Rights Act of

Failure to meet such requirements could disqualify institutions from receiving government funding or being able to compete for public contracts. In recent years, campaigns to make organizations and institutions more inclusive have seen a push for greater gender diversity along with more access to opportunities for people with disabilities and covered veterans.

The implementation and continued practice of affirmative action policies have drawn strong support as well as staunch criticism. Proponents of affirmative action may say the effort must continue because of the low percentages of diversity in positions of authority, representation in the media, and limited acknowledgment of the achievements of underrepresented groups.

Opponents of affirmative action frequently call these efforts a collective failure.

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The tiny changes to the status quo after decades of effort are often cited as evidence of this. Critics of affirmative action assert that such policies can hinder the prosperity of the groups they were meant to help.

Affirmative action definition is - an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women; also: a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons. How to use affirmative action in a sentence. Affirmative action in the United States is a set of laws, policies, guidelines, and administrative practices "intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination" that include government-mandated, government-sanctioned and voluntary private programs. The programs tend to focus on access to education and employment. Affirmative action, in the United States, an active effort to improve employment or educational opportunities for members of minority groups and for women. Affirmative action began as a government remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against such groups and has consisted of policies, programs, and procedures that give preferences to minorities and women in job hiring.

The cost of such programs, coupled with a belief that affirmative action forces the populace to make unwarranted accommodations, drives a significant part of the opposition. Furthermore, opponents of affirmative action might claim that at least from their perspective little to no bias exists in current society.

Affirmative Action: What It Is and How it Works

That is, some people may be accused of getting a job or promotion due to their ethnicity or gender, versus qualifications. Affirmative action is a delicate balance of promoting a diverse workplace without resentment.

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