Johanna Jacobs, a columnist, for the San Jose Mercury News wrote an articles questioning, do women really need affirmative action in today’s working environment? In her article she concludes that affirmative action is not needed for women. She goes on to say that a women successfulness or unsuccessfulness depends not on race or gender but on their wealth of education. I strongly disagree with Johanna Jacobs article. I feel that affirmative action is still needed by women, greatly. There are numerous amounts of reasons but I’ve chosen three to back me up. The first reason is the racism is not just a word of the past for every one it can still exist. Second, some women are still at a disadvantage in the work place, compared to men. Finally, affirmative action has had such a positive affect on past generation, the legacy should continue.
Unfortunately, racism can still play a big part in our society today, especially Corporate America. When I say racism I am referring to any race against one another. I agree with Johanna that education is important but I disagree with the fact that she tries to eliminate racism as a key discriminate in the work environment. A numerous amount of cases have flared up in the last six months pertaining to racism in the work force. For example, Coca Cola was recently indicted for racial discrimination against a number of their employee’s. Women of minority have a greater struggle in the work place and it does not need to sweep under the rug, like so many other issues. I believe that education is the key but I believe that it is the only key. Education has helped minority women in the work place tremendously; as education grows women are becoming more aware of their rights and their roles in the business world. It’s no surprise that the number of law suits, due to racial discrimination, are rapidly growing due to an influx in knowledge. Many minority women have finally realized that is more to life than the past and are running with the idea. Affirmative Action has helped a numerous amount of women get to there dreams and should be able to do so in years to come.
Secondly, in some cases woman are still at a disadvantage, compared to men. One of the main disadvantages for a woman in today’s society is the family. In most cases a woman’s family comes first in their lives and push their careers to the back burner. Unlike most men that place their careers first and are able to spend fifty to sixty hours a day in the office. For a great percentage of the women in the world a family is just as time consuming as a CEO position. The next disadvantage is respect. Many of the old rules for a corporation have not changed. When corporations were established women were not apart of the business environment. According to the 2000 catalyst census of women corporate officers and top earners the percentage of women among the highest paid has increased by a small increments over the last five years (Black Entrepreneurs). The percentages from the Black Entrepreneurs magazine are devastating compared to the growing salaries of men. Not only are women lacking respect in pay but also in seniority. It’s as fact that the majority of CEO’s in Corporate America are men. I feel that without affirmative action many women would not be considered for half the positions available. Some woman also lack respect from men. In some cases women in higher position than some men are treated as though they don’t deserve the rank. I feel that some men have grown accustom to having the top position that when a women gets one they feel belittled. It may also be due to the fact that some of the older generation guys still think of women as homemakers and nothing else. Affirmative action has helped to change the entire outlook of the business environment. I feel that we should be congratulating Affirmative action rather trying to get rid of it.
Lastly, affirmative action has had such a great impact on the business environments it should be able to continue. Without the assistance of affirmative action many people would be jobless or have a harder time getting a job, including Johanna Jacobs. Many people across the world can contest to the wonderful working of affirmative action including me. I have been working for my company for two years now and I know that without affirmative action I may not be in the position I’m in today. I feel that the affects of affirmative action are just as needed as they were twenty to thirty years ago. I also feel that affirmative action has a great deal to do with the influx of positions. Many people are trying to get rid of affirmative action claiming that it puts other people at a disadvantage. People that are not minorities feel they are missing out on jobs due to the minorities getting them first. No matter what everyone will not be pleased the outcome if it does not pertain to them. Most of the past experiences are still prevalent today, just kept quiet. Without affirmative action I think it’ll place a large amount of the work force back to where they were forty to fifty years ago.
In conclusion, I disagree with Johanna Jacobs article because I believe both women of minorities and women that are not minorities still need affirmative action. Affirmative action is said to be the nations most ambitious attempt to redress its long history of racist and sexual discrimination (blah). Racism is not dead yet, it’s alive and kicking but it’s still said with a very low voice now. As long as there is racism affirmative action will be needed in the work environment. Some of the disadvantages that women experience have a large impact on their job positioning. Affirmative action helps the women that are at a disavantage.
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