August 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 4 
Main Feature

Myths and realities

For whatever reasons, people may view diversity-related concepts with an air of suspicion. In many cases, this feeling stems from a lack of knowledge or agreement about what these ideas truly stipulate. Here’s a look at some myths of diversity—as well as the realities of how Boeing defines and executes diversity.

Myth: Diversity, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action all mean the same thing.

Reality: Although their concepts and goals are interrelated, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action are three distinct commitments that work together to create an environment designed to help all employees achieve their full potential, consistent with the company’s business objectives. Boeing’s value for a diverse and involved workforce revolves around these three important commitments.

Diversity is the uniqueness each Boeing employee brings to the workplace. This includes differences such as nationality, religion, physical ability, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, job experience, education and position in the organization.

Equal Employment Opportunity is a term used by the U.S. government to refer to employment practices that ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, physical or mental ability, medical condition, or age.

The principle behind EEO is that everyone should have the same access to opportunities. EEO is legally mandated for all federal contractors.

Affirmative Action is one aspect of the U.S. government’s efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity. The purpose of affirmative action programs is to promote fairness and address the effects of past discrimination in employment by encouraging targeted outreach efforts to attract underutilized minorities and women. It also applies to individuals with disabilities and covered veterans.

It requires that a federal contractor demonstrate a good faith effort to achieve a work force in which women and people of color are represented at a level commensurate with their availability in the labor pool from which the employer can reasonably be expected to recruit.

The Boeing Company, its policies and procedures support a fair, equitable and inclusive work environment. Boeing is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action. (See POL-5, Equal Employment Opportunity on Boeing's internal web at

Myth: Affirmative Action is about quotas.

Reality: Affirmative Action plans do not impose quotas that benefit one group over another. Affirmative action is designed to increase the pool of qualified female and minority applicants by using aggressive recruitment and outreach programs, setting goals and establishing training programs, among other measures.

Myth: Only minority groups are protected from employment discrimination on the basis of race.

Reality: All employees at Boeing are protected from employment discrimination. Boeing policies prohibit harassment or discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or status as a special disabled veteran or other eligible veteran.

Myth: Diversity does not include white men.

Reality: Diversity is the uniqueness each Boeing employee brings to the workplace and is not limited to one group. It includes all employees. Everyone is valued for his or her unique contributions to the business.

—Carol Waitse


Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map | Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.