Studies Show Affirmative Action Helps White Women More Than Others

June 19, 2013  |  

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Many Americans are anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a high-profile case detailing Abigail Fisher’s denied admission to the University of Texas, according to her lawsuit, because she is white. Fisher frames her college rejection as reverse racism, but studies actually show that affirmative action favors White women like the plaintiff, not minorities, Time says.

About 50 years ago, President Johnson amended the first affirmative action law to extend its protection to women. There was a realization that women, along with minorities, dealt with obstacles in the job market and in other areas. Today, women are benefiting from affirmative action more than people of color. According to past research, six million women—who were mostly white—got their jobs through affirmative action.

One other study shows that women have made the most gains in employment in the federal government. Federal jobs are subject to “federal affirmative-action requirements”, Time says which in turn shows the services affirmative action provides for women.

Employment of females in federal companies rose 15.2 percent, but only 2.2 percent in other fields.

The article also explains that IBM implemented its own affirmative action policies, which tripled the number of women in management positions in less than a decade. Although data from the following years show that managers of color grew, the rate wasn’t nearly as fast the growth for white women.

Barriers still stand in the way of working women, but the obstacles impeding minorities are greater. A study shows that although two resumes may reflect the same experience and employee value, the application with the name “Greg” will get “twice as many callbacks for interviews” than “Jamal’s” application, Time adds.

Fisher’s rejected admission to the highly-selective university could very well be based on her less-than-impressive grades, Time’s writer Sally Kohn says. A 3.59 GPA, although good, is not considered great for the University of Texas.

Kohn adds that “the successes of white women make a case not for abandoning affirmative action but for continuing it.” Agree?

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