Difference Between Diversity and Affirmative Action

Diversity vs Affirmative Action
 

Affirmative action and diversity are both measures that are taken with the aim of encouraging corporations to hire and promote workers from diverse backgrounds. Both diversity and affirmative action focus on eliminating discrimination in hiring minorities including women, differently abled individuals, and other groups of minorities that suffers from discrimination in the workplace. However, the manner in which each initiative is carried out is quite distinct to one another. The following article offers a clear overview of each and explains the similarities and differences between affirmative action and diversity.

What is Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action was first used by American President John F. Kennedy when issuing an order to provide equal employment opportunities to individuals regardless of their color, race, creed or nationality. Therefore, affirmative action is a set of policies that have powered equal opportunities legislation mandating equal employment opportunities to all. It is possible for a court of law to order affirmative action on a firm that has been accused of discrimination, thereby making it mandated by law. Affirmative action is more limited towards particular groups of minorities that have been previously disadvantaged including women, the differently abled and war veterans. The aim of affirmative action would be mainly to avoid legal action against discrimination, and to boost employment in minorities and groups disadvantaged in the workplace.

What is Diversity?

Diversity is a strategic initiative followed by a firm that is voluntarily improving the diversity in its workforce. Diversity is a widely inclusive approach that accepts everyone, including minorities such as women, the differently abled, and war veterans, as well as any other groups of individuals regardless of their beliefs, religions, perspectives, values, political views, sexual orientation, etc. Organizations that adopt diversity initiatives do not simply look to prevent workplace discrimination but also aim to achieve a wider range of outcomes. Those include enhancing a company’s profitability, cultivating more diverse perspectives and ideas, reaching new consumers and potential markets, increasing creativity and obtaining a range of diverse solutions and perspectives on issues and problems.

Affirmative Action vs Diversity

Diversity and affirmative action are both initiatives that go hand in hand. However, diversity takes a step further than affirmative action and builds on the initial ideas and concepts of equal opportunity employment. Without affirmative action a firm would not be able to recruit and promote a diverse workforce, without which the window to diversity initiatives would not be accessible where people are valued for the differences and unique ideas, beliefs, values, etc. There are, however, a number of differences between the two.

Affirmative action is focused on improving the number of diverse employees hired. Diversity, on the other hand, aims at changing the organization’s culture to be more accepting of varying views, values and differences. While affirmative action is mandatory, diversity is voluntary and focuses on a wider approach to include not only those previously disadvantaged, but also to include other groups of individuals regardless of their beliefs, religions, perspectives, values, political views, sexual orientation, etc.

What is the difference between Diversity and Affirmative Action?

• Affirmative action and diversity are both measures that are taken with the aim of encouraging corporations to hire and promote workers from diverse backgrounds.

• Affirmative action was first used by American President John F. Kennedy when issuing legislation to provide equal employment opportunities to individuals, regardless of their color, race, creed or nationality.

• Diversity is a strategic initiative followed by a firm that is voluntarily improving the diversity in its workforce.