The British Royal Air Force (RAF) disputed claims that the branch halted job offers to white males in favor of women and ethnic minorities to meet “impossible” diversity quotas, SkyNews reported Tuesday.
“As with the Royal Navy and British Army, we are doing everything we can to encourage recruiting from under-represented groups and ensure we have a diverse workforce,” an RAF spokesperson told the outlet. “There is no pause in Royal Air Force recruitment and no new policy with regards to meeting in-year recruitment requirements.”
Despite denying these allegations, the RAF’s female head of recruitment resigned in protest of the “effective pause” on white candidates, stating that the change sabotages the RAF’s fighting power, according to the report.
Military personnel reportedly further criticized the refuted move, accusing the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, of strengthening diversity and inclusion at the potential expense of British sovereignty.
“That the Ministry of Defence would allow Britain’s security to potentially be put at risk by a drive for so-called ‘diversity’ is not only disgraceful, it is dangerous,” a spokesperson for Conservative British Member of Parliament Rishi Sunak told the outlet.
The RAF hopes to bring the percentage of women serving up to 40% by the end of the decade, effectively more than doubling the number of women currently serving in the branch, SkyNews reported. The branch also intends to approximately double the number of minorities serving, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Police Identify Afghan Man As Primary Suspect In Albuquerque Slaying)
Risking defence of the realm in order to hit diversity targets for recruitment is complete insanity
Whoever’s running @DefenceHQ needs to get a grip on this now
ONLY thing that should matter in recruitment is individual qualities, not colour or sex
— Richard Holden MP (@RicHolden) August 16, 2022
The United Kingdom is not the only country fighting to diversify its recruits. In Aug. 2020, United States Vice Admiral John Nowell Jr. advocated reinstating photos at promotion boards because he felt removing them undercut diversity efforts, according to the Military Times.