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The Benefits of Affirmative Action
Affirmative action has helped the income, promotion and labor force participation rates of both women and minorities. For example, between 1982 and 1995, the percentage of female managers and professionals in the U.S. rose from 40.5 to 48.0 percent; blacks from 5.5 to 7.5 percent, and Hispanics from 5.2 to 7.6 percent. By comparison, these groups form 51.2 percent, 12.6 percent, and 10.2 percent of the population, respectively. Progress has been steady, but still incomplete.
Many critics of affirmative action believe it has failed to achieve its stated goal of equal employment opportunity. A few even believe that it has done more harm than good. A review of the statistics, however, shows that both minorities and women have made substantial progress towards equality in the last several decades.
Before reviewing the relevant statistics, it would be helpful to build a timeline of important dates in affirmative action history.
An affirmative action timeline
In 1961, John F. Kennedy signed an executive order that intended the end…
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