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A recruiter for the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force referred to white men looking to join the air force as “useless white male pilots,” according to emails obtained by several British media outlets.
The comments were reportedly made by Squadron Leader Andrew Harwin in an email discussing board placements for ushering recruits through training.
“I noted that the boards have recently been predominantly white male heavy. If we don’t have enough BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] and female to board then we need to make the decision to pause boarding and seek more BAME and female from the RAF,” Harwin, who worked at the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre, reportedly wrote in a January 19, 2021, email.
“I don’t really need to see loads of useless white male pilots, let’s get as focused as possible, I am more than happy to reduce boarding if needed to have a balanced BAME/female/male board,” he added.
One RAF source told The Telegraph that the “email clearly demonstrates the endemic culture that was created by the senior leadership to chase ridiculous diversity statistics that were patently unachievable.”
A later email from January 19, 2021, said that the recruiting pool for minorities and women had been “drained.”
“From 336 Cs [candidates] we have c10% female, 5% BAME which we will burn through quickly using the boarding profile proposed,” the email said.
Thirty-one men will be compensated roughly $6,000 each as a result of their training being delayed due to diversity quotas, according to Sky News.
“The RAF has identified 31 individuals that missed out on payments due to their entry/course dates being delayed. These individuals have been contacted and all have received the payments that they were due,” the RAF said in a statement.
It also said in its statement that it would continue to push for more “under-represented” groups into the force, yet said that selections would continue to be merit-based.
“All individuals joining the Royal Air Force were and are selected on merit and any individuals that were advanced to their training courses had already passed the selection process. There was no compromise of entry standards and no impact on the front line or operational effectiveness,” the RAF said.