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Affirmative action: A solution to restore equality of opportunity in the workplace?

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The phenomenon of discrimination in a work environment has been prevalent for a long time. France is ranked as one of the top countries across the world facing discrimination at various stages. The rest of Europe slowly follows suit. The other continents across the globe also experience levels of discrimination at various levels. Many political economists, sociologists and economists theorize about the discrimination practice, and subsequently a wealth of literature on this subject has been produced.

According to Gary Becker, discrimination is specific to the taste of the employer. This is especially true when the employer believes and chooses to work with ?like minded' candidates. With this thought in mind, the employer is given to understand that the productivity levels of the minority workforce will be comparatively lower than the productivity delivered by the majority workforce. To reiterate further, the described hypothesis above is the concept of objective judgment from the point of view of the employer. This thought would be integrated unconsciously by the employer in his decision making activity. In a country like France, discrimination is observed at three levels.

It starts with the discrimination at the recruitment stage and moves onto the evolution path in terms of career growth for women. It finally concludes with the discrimination of French nationals of foreign origin. The problem of integration has become a debatable concept in France and this comparison across other countries has led to the possible solution of positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is preferential differentiated treatment to a group of individuals. The purpose of this enforcement is to bring in equality and once it is stabilized, the discrimination is erased.

However, recent studies have stated that the job market in France continues to be uneven. It is to be noted that barriers at the entry level exist for a certain category of workers alone. Our report will focus on positive discrimination being a solution to bring in equality. To begin with, we will study the various discrimination cases witnessed across France. We will finally summarize the report by examining the various positive notes that can be used to highlight equality.

It is first and foremost important to note the difficulty that one faces in quantifying discrimination in all its forms within the French companies. And this simply becauseINSEE refuses to make any statistics based on the ethnic origins of people. However, statistics have showed a differentiation between men and women for many years, and on this basis it is therefore possible, to identify potential inequities in hiring, as well as in wages and career prospects.

However, problems of discrimination is at the heart of debates in recent years, we can base ourselves on two studies: reports of the Observatory of Discrimination and the Institut Montaigne.

Thus, initially, we will discuss these two reports, see why and by whom they were created, and what conclusions they give us. Subsequently, we will detail the various forms of discrimination they lead us to see, whether on the basis of gender, age, or origin.

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