I agree that putting affirmative action programs into practice is the best solution to providing equal employment opportunities for everyone regardless of ethnic background, gender or physical abilities. The affirmative action program ensures that an employer will appeal to every individual to apply for a position offered, and allow every applicant an opportunity to represent himself in an interview. Over the past centuries, there has been discrimination against women as homemakers that are only capable of raising children and keeping a house clean. Even it today s politically correct world, women are still stuck under the glass ceiling. In workplaces that are mainly dominated by physically fit men such as the military, there is a bias against individuals that do not meet the high physical standards. In more recent years, there has been a trend for employers to discriminate against individuals because of their race. Affirmative action programs will guarantee that employers will have hire qualified individuals from all backgrounds.
There is a notion that employers would rather hire a male than a female even if both applicants possess the same skills. In general, employers believe that it would be to their disadvantage to hire women because they are viewed as individuals that tend to keep to themselves and do not work well with others, especially men. Women have tried to break away from this obstructive notion by acquiring skills such as an education specifically related to their career. Lately, women have been more successful in attaining jobs because they are being recognized for the skills they possess but they are still being held back from holding top positions. This bias against women holding positions in the upper ranks of companies is known as the glass ceiling . The glass ceiling is a notion that women will never hold an executive position that is primarily male dominated.
For many years, physically fit men have dominated jobs in the military structure and civil emergency services. There are preconceived notions that only men in top physical condition have the skills to perform the tasks of going into combat and providing life saving skills such as fire fighting. In a recent court case, a woman argued that the fire-fighting standards are too high because they are not a reflection of the skills possessed by all fire-fighters. She disputed the fact that lives are not in danger even if all the fire fighters do not meet the strict standards. The judge ruled that the fire-fighting test standards are unrealistic and should be lowered to a level where there is no compromise in human life. Physical standards in jobs such as the military and emergency services must be set to a more precise level such that there is no concession of national or civilian safety. The affirmative action program provides for qualified individuals an opportunity to work in such occupations.
In recent history, activists have protested against racial discrimination when it comes to the subject of employment. In the past, it was common practice for employers to not hire anyone that does not belong to their race because they considered other ethnic backgrounds to be inferior compared to theirs. In Canada, where we are known for our diverse ethnic backgrounds, there are still establishments that only employ people from their own race. Chinese restaurants that only employ Chinese staff is a common example of the racial discrimination that still exists in the workplace. Although not all, some have since realized that there is no superior race and that all races are equal. Employers that have realized their mistake are now looking towards other individuals from different ethnic backgrounds for the skills they possess and not their skin colour. One method the affirmative action program assures that employers will look for people from minorities is by enforcing the business to advertise their job openings in different publications that appeal to people from those races.
Employing an affirmative action program into today s work force is the best tactic to ensure that stores and corporations of all kinds recognize that there is a wealth of resources that are not being used. Employers must realize that we live in a world of equality where issues such as gender and race should not be of concern. In vocations that demand high physical fitness, employers must set the physical standards to a level that is a direct reflection of degree of physical condition required. The affirmative action program will allow employers to only hire applicants based solely on their skills.