Getting rid of discrimination in the workplace has always been a priority for the United States government, and, today, it’s no different. According to federal regulation, over time, a federal contractor’s employees should mirror the gender, racial and ethnic profile of its applicants. To ensure this happens, all contractors doing business with the United States government who meet certain employment and contract levels are required to have an affirmative action plans, which are guidelines that instruct companies to actively pursue employees, vendors and contractors who are from minority groups.
In short, an affirmative action plan is to serve as a guide to eliminate underrepresentation in the workforce and be used by managers as a tool to create equal employment opportunities; they contain analytical methods that include measurable inquiries aimed to gauge the structure of the contractor’s workforce and compare it to the configuration of the appropriate labor pools. Affirmative action plans also include specific steps that companies can take, if women and minorities are not being employed at the expected rate, to address the underemployment of these demographics.
In addition, effective affirmative action plans also include internal auditing and reporting procedures as a way to measure the contractor’s development toward attaining a reflective workforce that is absent of discrimination during the hiring process.