Studies Show Affirmative Action Helps White Women More Than Others

June 19, 2013  |  


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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  • disqus_xpmwx1oUV3

    I am a male, but this data has been known for years. The same people blaming blacks for this program are the ones utilizing it the most.

  • Lisa

    Yes women (of all colors) may have been the ones that have traditionally benefited the most from affirmative action; however, women are no longer need affirmative action because affirmative action has already helped them get to a point where they are now outperforming males in schools. This becomes even more clear when you look at the effects of the ban on affirmative action in UC schools that took place in 1996. Two years after the ban minority group enrollment dropped around 50% (even though the number of poor people of all races increased!). The ban on affirmative action had no similar negative effect on female enrollment though. In fact, female enrollment continued to increase without it and now more females are enrolled than males (its something like 55% women to 45% men overall and in minority populations about 70% of the student body is female). Because of this schools are now actually applying affirmative action to men. So clearly affirmative action helped women help themselves and accomplished its goals in this manner, so much so that when affirmative action has been discontinued, women continued to outperform men. Women don’t need affirmative action if they are getting better grades in high school than men are, they can now can compete for college spots on their own merit. Also, although minority enrollment dropped dramatically in the first years of the affirmative action ban, it has steadily increased since. It has been steadily increasing because the schools are making a proactive effort to reach out to young high school kids in minority areas to better prepare them to do well in high school so that they can get into these schools without affirmative action! That seems like a success to me… helping people learn how to succeed on their own merits rather than giving them an artificial leg up. Also the fact that getting rid of affirmative action saw a dramatic increase in the amount of poor students of all races attending the school shows that it is better to not have it. There are poor disadvantaged people of all races. The focus shouldn’t be on promoting one race over another. The focus should be on increasing the chances of upward mobility for all poor, not just poor blacks. Also affirmative action rarely helps poor blacks even when its implemented. An overwhelming majority of those black students admitted to top tier universities such as Harvard are actually members of the upper class or African immigrants. To deny a poor white kid admittance to a university because you would rather offer their spot to a rich black kid is just plan wrong. That is what affirmative action does.

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  • Nepps A

    Any white women’s accomplishments today had nothing to do with affirmative action because It assured everyone was moved ahead of white men, who protect white women
    Who believes this propaganda?

  • kimmiexsweetie

    Surely this isn’t new. But in light of the recent Time article, this piece is bringing up the discussion that should Fisher’s case about affirmative action doesn’t hold water because it benefits more people that look like her than the people Fisher accuses of taking her spot in the university.

  • jason vorhees

    Everybody has known this for years MN. Are yall just catchin up?

  • vetri

    Another bullshit article. First of all, remember white women (adding white Hispanics) are roughly 75% of women workforce. Affirmative action is supporting less privileged gender (i.e women) and non-whites (except Indians & Asians).

    So AA obviously favors women, what it means to be fair enough 75% of them must be white women.

    But dumb Americans like some article authors simply misinterpret the logic and shouting white women only are getting more benefits through AA.

    • jason vorhees

      the article didnt state that only white women benefit from AA. the article stated that white women benefit the most. You just went on a rant….to agree with the article

      • vetri

        My previous comment implicitly accept that article didn’t state only white women benefit from AA.
        Why you make a comment as if I said otherwise?

        I pointed out a simple logic that 75% (particular group) of total suffered-population must take 75% (same particular group) share of total benefits.

        Of course I will get a down-rating just because this site got predominantly Black-people viewership

    • Mike Lopez

      Poor oppressed white women!Boohoo!White women make more money than black men and non-whites in general, and this is taking into account that they work less hours by average.

  • Jae Bee

    This study is nothing new. Google “Tim Wise: Is Sisterhood Conditional?”. As I always point out, it’s interesting to see how much we’ve “progressed” in terms of race relations when we keep seeing the same type of foolwine about being denied college acceptance due to an “unearned privilege” afforded to minorities, but don’t complain about unearned privileges afforded to: children of alumni, people who are given non-academic scholarships (eg sports players), people who’s parents are big donors, people who’s parents are in politics and who have some influence (lookin at you George W. Bush), etc. No, it’s always the minorities fault for why they didn’t get in–never taking into account that it was more than likely other white people who “prevented” them from getting in.

  • Bianca

    Well duh