Affirmative Action Plans (copy)

This course will help you understand what our AAP program requires and how it can help you with your hiring.

What is an Affirmative Action Plan? (copy)

What is an Affirmative Action Plan?

You'll see this statement on all of our job descriptions, job postings, and other documents:


žAET is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer; AA/EEO/Veterans/Disability friendly employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or any other characteristic protected by applicable Federal, State, or local laws.


This statement affirms our status as an equal opportunity employer and an affirmative action employer.

Our EEO policy protects ALL of those groups from discrimination. 

Affirmative action is a little different – it only covers certain groups that have been underutilized, and instead of just protecting from discrimination, we work PROACTIVELY  to support or promote these groups. 

The groups protected by our Affirmative Action Plan are:

  • Women
  • Minorities
  • People with Disabilities
  • Covered Veterans
    •  Disabled veterans
    • Recently separated veterans
    • Armed Forces service medal veterans
    • Other protected veterans


What is an Affirmative Action Plan?

žAAP ≠ hiring unqualified people. 

Many people think that affirmative action plans mean that you have to hire unqualified people if they fall into a protected group.  This is not true.  Only hire qualified employees.

Which of the following characteristics is protected by our Affirmative Action Plan?

  • Gender identity
  • National Origin
  • Minority status
  • Religion

How does Affirmative Action affect our hiring practices?

  • We have to proactively work to promote/hire certain groups.
  • We have to hire as many people as possible within a group, regardless of qualifications.
  • We don't pay attention to this except once a year when we file the report.

Why do we have an Affirmative Action Plan? (copy)

We are Federal Contractors

As a federal contractor/subcontractor, we are REQUIRED to have a written Affirmative Action Plan.  If we don't comply with these laws, we cannot work on federal projects.

The other reason is that an AAP helps the company hire and retain a diverse workforce.  We want the demographics of our workforce to mirror the demographics of the population.

The groups protected by this plan tend to be underutilized compared to other groups – so if for instance 40% of the workforce in a certain category is  female, and we only hire 20% women, we aren’t utilizing the available workforce.

What is one reason that we have an Affirmative Action Plan?

How does AET use our AAP? (copy)

AAP and Hiring

  • The first thing to know is that our AAP plan doesn’t have a quota for each group.  Nobody tells us “you have to hire 5 women” and we get to 5 and then are done (that would be illegal).  Even if you meet that goal across the board, you still have to keep working proactively to hire/promote these groups.  The goals tend to be more so that we can identify areas of weakness.
  • We have to show that we have made a good faith effort to meet or exceed these goals.  This is huge, because our efforts are as important as our results.
  • We post jobs to meet as wide of an audience as possible, and we work with specific groups if we have a particular area of weakness. 
  • We want to reach our goals by hiring qualified workers.  DO NOT just hire someone if they aren’t qualified for the position. 
  • However, if you have two candidates that you’ve interviewed, and you think they both have great experience, they interviewed well, and they’d both do a great job – we prefer the candidate that falls into an underutilized group.  This is the PROACTIVE part of the process.


How do we use our AAP?

Our AAP doesn't use , but instead shows us the areas where we need to .  We have to show that we've made a Good Faith to promote underutilized groups.  AET posts jobs on websites to reach a wide audience.  We work with specific groups where we have areas of weakness.  If we have equally qualified candidates, we prefer the one that falls into an group.

Good Faith Efforts (copy)

Our Efforts Matter

Our efforts are as important as results!

If I post jobs on our website, and I get 2 applicants with disabilities, have I made an effort to reach applicants with disabilities? 

Next time I post the job on 4 websites, including with 2 groups that work specifically with people with disabilities.  I still only got 2 disabled applicants. But did I make an effort?  Do I need to add/change my efforts for my next job opening, or is this good enough?


Our Efforts Matter

What would you do if....

You have 10 applicants for a tech job.  4 are women.  You interview 3 men and hire one of them.  When an auditor asks why you didn’t even interview any of the 4 women who applied, what am I going to show them?  I could show them an iRecruit status that says they don’t have experience or didn’t want to relocate.   I could show them interview notes that say the candidates didn’t do well in the interview. 


But if the managers don’t give that to me I have literally no answer.  That’s a problem.  If you had 4 unqualified women and didn’t hire them - that is fine.  But we need to be able to justify that with documentation.

Which of these might constitute a Good Faith Effort? (pick all that apply)

  • Posting a job on the AET site only.
  • Working with a group that helps people with disabilities.
  • Posting jobs on the state website, on job boards, and on school websites.
  • Hiring a friend of an employee, because you are familiar with their work.
  • Working with a job training program that helps veterans.

What documentation is part of our AAP? (copy)

Sample Workforce Data



This is part of the report that gets filed.  These are all of the people who are employed on a given date.  How many technicians do we have altogether?  How many of those are white men?  How many of those are women? 

Looking at the bottom, we can compare this year’s data to last year’s.  Compared to the previous year, how many MORE asian male employees did we have?  How many more white females did we have?  Did any numbers decrease?

This is only a small part of the documentation that gets filed and this chart alone doesn’t tell us where we need to improve.  We wouldn’t expect to get equal percentages of each group, because the workforce isn’t equal.  How do we determine that?

More workforce reports