Thursday 18 August 2022 01:43 PM Woman in charge of RAF recruitment says she is 'unashamed' of diversity targets trends now
The boss of RAF recruitment has said she is 'unashamed' of the force's diversity targets, amid claims that it has effectively paused its recruitment of white men.
Air Vice-Marshal Maria Byford, chief of staff personnel and air secretary, said that recruiting more women and ethnic minorities would result in 'a better service in the long run'.
Earlier this week defence sources alleged that the unnamed female head of RAF recruitment resigned in protest over an 'effective pause' in offering jobs to white men.
Air Vice-Marshal Byford, the woman in charge of RAF recruitment, said she is 'unashamed' of the force's diversity targets, amid claims that it has effectively paused its recruitment of white men
The sources said the RAF was attempting to hit 'impossible' diversity targets.
Air Vice-Marshal Byford, one of the most senior ranking women in the military, told The Times that she had 'slowed down' recruitment processes for all candidates after failing to meet diversity targets.
She said: 'I want the best people. So I need the best people to join to achieve the best they can during their service career and we get... what we need from an operational capability perspective.
'And if I can include more women and more people from different backgrounds in that, I think I have a better service in the long run.
'We are unashamed about doing that because I think that's a good thing.'
At present, RAF candidates can be put forward for training immediately after they meet the requirements of the 'first past the post' type-system, rather than being merited on how well they perform in certain stages of the process.
The Vice-Marshal, who has served in the force for more than 30 years, said the RAF will look at how to use 'positive action' legally so recruits who have passed the basic requirements to join the force can be selected on merit as well as their gender and ethnicity.
She confirmed that women could be picked over men if they were underrepresented in that role and they had met the required standards.
Earlier this week defence sources claimed that the head of RAF recruitment resigned over an 'effective pause' in the hiring of white men. Sources said that the force was trying to hit 'impossible' diversity targets
There has been a fierce backlash to the recruitment from former military personnel as well as politicians, who have claimed that the recruitment