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Affirmative Action–Or Not Thomas A. Timmerman, Ph.D., SPHR 2010
©SHRM 2010 2 AA Fishing
©SHRM 2010 3 20% good fish $5/lb 30% mediocre fish $2/lb 50% worthless fish
©SHRM 2010 4 20% good fish $5/lb 30% mediocre fish $2/lb 50% worthless fish Lake 2 AA Fishing
©SHRM 2010 5 Lake 1 Lake 3 Lake 2 AA Fishing
©SHRM 2010 6 Conclusions From the Fish Story We want good fish regardless of which lake they come from. If we concentrate on one lake only, we will eventually run out of good fish and have to settle for mediocre or bad fish. We are willing to spend money to pursue good fish in other lakes. It makes no sense to wait for the good fish in other lakes to swim to us. We won’t be satisfied with our catch from the smaller lakes until we catch them in proportion to their availability.
©SHRM 2010 7 Affirmative Action in Action Affirmative Action’s First Victim > Ed Stevens
©SHRM 2010 8 Affirmative Action in Action Rickey wanted the most talented players regardless of where they came from. By concentrating on white players only, mediocre and bad players were filling out the rosters. The Dodgers spent money sending scouts into the Negro Leagues to find the most talented players. The Dodgers didn’t wait for African-American players to knock down the doors demanding equal treatment. Robinson was the first, but not the only, good fish landed by the Dodgers from the African-American pool.
©SHRM 2010 9 Bertrand and Mullainathan Study 5,000 resumes mailed for entry-level jobs in Boston and Chicago. Resumes designed to be a good fit or poor fit for job.
©SHRM 2010 10 Resumes also designed to reflect gender of applicant. Bertrand and Mullainathan Study
©SHRM 2010 11 Male 1.Brad, Jay, Matthew, Todd 2.Tyrone, Leroy, Jamal, Rasheed Bertrand and Mullainathan Study One other name manipulation: Female 1.Kristen, Laurie, Meredith, Jill 2.Ebony, Lakisha, Keisha, Latoya
©SHRM 2010 12 Bertrand and Mullainathan Study
©SHRM 2010 13 Bertrand and Mullainathan Study
©SHRM 2010 14 Affirmative Action Summary The fish story demonstrated what affirmative action is really about. It’s about noticing underutilization and proactively addressing it. The baseball story demonstrated that affirmative action done well leads to better organizational performance. The Bertrand and Mullainathan study demonstrated that underutilization still happens, even across the labor market. So far in our discussion, the government hasn’t forced anyone to engage in affirmative action.
©SHRM 2010 15 What Is Affirmative Action? Attempt to ensure that the organization is attracting and selecting the best talent from every available source. Only mandated by law for: > Federal contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees and contracts of at least $50,000. Required by Executive Order 11246. > Organizations found guilty of illegal discrimination. > For everyone else, it’s just a good idea.
©SHRM 2010 16 Utilization analysis: > Are there any pools that are not being tapped? > Compare your workforce to the relevant labor force. Establish goals and timetables for tapping underutilized pools. > Goals should match availability in the relevant labor force. > Timetables should consider anticipated growth and typical turnover rates. Develop plans to reduce underutilization: > Recruit in nontraditional areas. > Examples…. What Is Affirmative Action?
©SHRM 2010 17 Recruiting in Nontraditional Areas SAS Institute, Inc. > Family-friendly work environment. Raytheon > Finding new untapped pools. Sempra Energy > Building social networks. Goldman Sachs > Educating women in underdeveloped nations. > LEAD program.
©SHRM 2010 18 Utilization analysis: > Are there any pools that are not being tapped? > Compare your workforce to the relevant labor force. Establish goals and timetables for tapping underutilized pools: > Goals should match availability in the relevant labor force. > Timetables should consider anticipated growth and typical turnover rates. Develop plans to reduce underutilization: > Recruit in nontraditional areas. > Selection practices that reduce subjectivity. > Examples…. What Is Affirmative Action?
©SHRM 2010 19 Changing Selection Practices > Home Depot: Changes driven by growth and class-action lawsuits. Job Preference Program (JPP) automated the selection process. Number of female managers increased by 30 percent. Number of minority managers increased by 28 percent. Selection Practices that Reduce Subjectivity
©SHRM 2010 20 1.Utilization analysis: 1. Are there any pools that are not being tapped? 2. Compare your workforce to the relevant labor force. 2.Establish goals and timetables for tapping underutilized pools: 1. Goals should match availability in the relevant labor force. 2. Timetables should consider anticipated growth and typical turnover rates. 3.Develop plans to reduce underutilization: 1. Recruit in nontraditional areas. 2. Selection practices that reduce subjectivity. 4.Monitor progress. What Is Affirmative Action?
©SHRM 2010 21 What Affirmative Action Is Not Not a government mandate for many employers. Not reverse discrimination. > Court rulings have placed limits on affirmative action programs: Affirmative action plans must be temporary. The purpose must be to correct underutilization. The plan may not completely ban the hiring/promotion of majority members. The plan may not cause the termination of majority members. Preferences may only be given to qualified minority members.. Not quotas. > Specifically forbidden. Not diversity for the sake of diversity. > Evidence is not clear.
Wrap-Up What Affirmative Action IS: > An attempt by an organization to actively recruit and select talented employees from traditionally undertapped pools. What Affirmative Action IS NOT: > A government mandate that forces organizations to hire unqualified employees. ©SHRM 2010 22
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