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Case Analysis: Affirmative Action


Affirmative action and other policy tools that are aimed at promoting the equal employment of women and minorities have received a great deal of attention in recent years (Thomas, 1991). The purpose of this report is to present a series of recommendations as to how the company can improve its affirmative action position, reduce turnover among female and minority employees, and advance the careers of minority and female staff members. The report is organized to present a statement of the problem, discuss the history of the issue and its impact, present an analysis of research findings, offer conclusions, and develop a set of recommendations for the firm which will ameliorate the problems that have been observed.

The overarching focus and thrust of this report is on the development of concrete actions that the firm can use to meet its obligations, both legal and ethical, with respect to minority and women employees. Ethical, legal, and related issues will be discussed. The costs of the recommendations presented below will also be assessed.

At the present time, the company is under internal pressure to hire and promote both women and minority workers while simultaneously reducing employee turnover in these two groups. Internal reviews of employment data and shifts for the company which employs approximately 20,000 people suggest the following: 1) many female and minority employees tend to leave the company after a few years of service; 2) of senior managers, only one percent are members of minority groups and 5 percent are female; 3) the company's workforce is composed of approximately 35 percent females and minorities, suggesting that both groups are underrepresented in the ranks of senior management.

Because of these facts, the company under its new chief executive officer is legitimately concerned with identifying the problems causing unacceptably high turnover rates among ...

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