An official inquiry confirmed that Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) implemented discrimination practices against white males in recruiting and selection procedures in order to meet diversity goals, RAF chief Richard Knighton has said.
Several years ago, reports emerged that the Royal Air Force stopped accepting white male recruits in order to increase the presence of women and ethnic minorities among armed forces staff. The UK Ministry of Defense refuted that information, while media, citing leaked RAF internal memos, reported that ethnic and gender diversity were present among officers’ performance goals.
“Those involved in Recruiting and Selection throughout this period acted with the best of intentions; but it is clear that people responsible for implementing these policies did raise concerns at the time, and the way in which long-term aspirational goals set by senior leadership to improve diversity in the RAF were translated into personal performance targets was wrong,” Knighton said in a statement issued on Thursday.
The chief also apologized “unreservedly” to all those affected by discrimination practices and to Lizzy Nicholl, former RAF head of recruitment, who had to resign because of a disapproval of policies implemented within the Royal Air Force. Besides, 31 individuals who were discriminated against and missed the opportunity to qualify for a 5,000 pound ($6,300) joining bonus will be compensated for the financial payment they missed out on.
Knighton has also noted that people who joined the RAF at the time the discrimination policies were in place met all required standards and “there was no compromise of entry standards and no impact on operational effectiveness.”