History of Affirmative Action: Affirmative action is a term that was first used in 1961 in Executive Order 10925 by President Kennedy. The order, in part, stated, "the contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin. The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship."
President Johnson's 1965 Executive Order 11246, as amended, stated in part, "each Government contractor with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in government contracts is required to develop a written affirmative action program (AAP) for each of its establishments." President Johnson amended the order in 1967 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as require that federal contractors make good-faith efforts to expand employment opportunities for women and minorities.
In 1970, under President Nixon, the Labor Department, issued Order No.4, authorizing flexible goals and timetables to correct "underutilization" of minorities by all federal contractors. This order was revised in 1971 to include women.
Difference between Affirmative Action, EEO, and OFCCP: Affirmative Action refers to the legally mandated policies created to provide equal opportunity in employment for all qualified persons and to prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, creed, color, national origin or sex. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for identifying and eliminating discrimination in the workplace. The Office of Federal Compliance (OFCCP) within the Department of Labor is charged with implementing Executive Order #11246, which prohibits employment discrimination and established affirmative action requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors.
Difference between Affirmative Action and managing diversity: Affirmative Action is a legally mandated program, while managing diversity is not. Managing diversity is a process used by businesses to fully utilize their most important capital, employees. Managing diversity deals with recognizing and leveraging the differences each of bring to the workplace. It also is about creating an environment that builds on those differences and manages them in a way that positively contributes to the success of the organization.
Helpful Web sites
National Technical Diversity-Related Organizations
General Diversity Links
List of Colleges and Universities with Significant Minority Populations