Why are affirmative action and discrimination important for managers and companies today?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Affirmative action and discrimination are important to businesses and managers today because businesses want to have diverse workforces and do not want to discriminate.  These things, however, can cause serious dilemmas for businesses and managers.

One problem is that affirmative action plans can be seen as discrimination.  Affirmative action plans make it somewhat easier for minorities and/or women to be hired or promoted.  These are meant to make up for past discrimination and to help ensure that the firm has a diverse workforce at every level.  The problem is that any program that gives preference to women or minorities can be seen as a form of discrimination against men or white people.  Thus, it can be difficult to achieve diversity without seeming to discriminate.

Affirmative action and discrimination are also important to managers because they impact the work environment.  Affirmative action programs make for a more diverse workforce.  This means that managers are more likely to have to deal with issues that arise when people from different groups have misunderstandings or conflicts.  This makes the manager’s job more complicated.

Affirmative action and discrimination, then, are important because companies want diverse workforces.  However, they are also important because they can lead to complications for the firm and its managers.