What is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action is a personnel policy aimed at improving employment, education and training opportunities for specified minority groups. It first was spelled out in Executive Order No. 10925, which was signed by President John Kennedy on March 6, 1961. It required government contractors to take “affirmative action” to make sure applicants were hired and those employees were treated the same despite their national origin, color, race or creed. The policy was designed to promote non-discrimination. Then President Lyndon Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 on Sept. 24, 1965. It mandated that government employers take affirmative action to hire employees regardless of their national origin, religion or race. Gender was added to the list in 1967.