Recently leaked emails have revealed that the Royal Air Force (RAF) had referred to white men as “useless white male pilots,” which reflects the pressure on recruitment officers to specifically enlist non-white men to improve diversity, per Sky News. As a result, the RAF paid out nearly $200,000 to 31 white men who claimed they were discriminated against in the recruitment process.
The report noted that there were a number of selection boards meant to place new recruits on various courses, and that these were canceled if they failed to include enough ethnic minorities and women. It was also revealed that the RAF had paid out just £5,000 to 31 white men, totaling £155,000, who were found to be discriminated against under Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the RAF.
According to a further review, hundreds more people were also disadvantaged in the diversity effort. And these recent revelations seem to go against Wigston’s claim that there would be no discrimination against white men in the process of diversifying the RAF, according to two defense sources.
However, the RAF does not believe that there is any contradiction, with a spokesperson saying: "Selection standards were not and have not been altered and there was no compromise of entry standards and no impact on the frontline or operational effectiveness."
But Sky News reported that a source within the defense said that the leaked emails represent a “smoking gun,” seeming to suggest that there was, in fact, discrimination against white men. The emails are dated between 2020 and 2021, when the recruitment process was taken on by Group Captain William Dole.
The emails in question have reportedly been used as evidence in an internal inquiry that was apparently launched in 2022 by the Ministry of Defense. The inquiry concerns what may have led to the resignation of Group Captain Lizzy Nicholl.