Thursday, August 18, 2022

Diversity Thursday

What the RAF was doing is not new.

What the RAF was doing is not isolated to the United Kingdom.

Via SkyNews this is what broke earlier this week. (NB: first reports and all - as you will read downpost);

The head of RAF recruitment has resigned in protest at an "effective pause" on offering jobs to white male recruits in favour of women and ethnic minorities, defence sources have claimed.

The senior female officer apparently handed in her notice in recent days amid concerns that any such restrictions on hiring, however temporary and limited, could undermine the fighting strength of the Royal Air Force (RAF), the sources said.

Official racial discrimination is wrong. It does not matter who the group being discriminated against is.

They said the service was attempting to hit "impossible" diversity targets.

The defence sources accused Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the RAF, of appearing willing to compromise UK security at a time of growing threats from Russia and China in pursuit of albeit important goals such as improving diversity and inclusion.

The diversity industry is not about equal opportunity. It is not about making organizations better or stronger.

It is about job security, grievance mongering, and power.

At least the UK seems, at the moment, to have civilian leaders at least say the right things;

The recruitment claims prompted a response from Rishi Sunak, one of the two contenders vying to be the UK's next prime minister.

A spokesperson for the Sunak leadership campaign said: "The only thing that should matter in recruitment is the content of your character, not your sex or the colour of your skin.

"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."

However, as we know here, the commissariat does not care. They have their advocates, their levers of power, and they know they can lie without worry. 

What is going to happen? Fire them? LOLOLOL...

An RAF spokesperson disputed the allegations.

"There is no pause in Royal Air Force recruitment and no new policy with regards to meeting in-year recruitment requirements," the spokesperson said.

"Royal Air Force commanders will not shy away from the challenges we face building a service that attracts and recruits talent from every part of the UK workforce.

"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.

"The Royal Air Force has a well-earned reputation for operational excellence that is founded on the quality of all our people. We will always seek to recruit the best talent available to us".

Word salad that does nothing but up the ante...and of course they are lying to you ... as they can't even get their story straight;

...responding to questions from Sky News on the issue, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: "Operational effectiveness is of paramount importance and no one is lowering the standards to join the Royal Air Force. The RAF recruits for many professions and, like the rest of the armed forces, is determined to be a force that reflects the society it serves to protect."

In the end, as on this side of the pond, the uniformed leadership are either true believers or broken souls. To effectively fight back against institutional discrimination the diversity bullies are pushing, you need new leaders who are immune to name calling, and a different set of incentives and disincentives for the mushy middle.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the head of the armed forces, used his first public speech in-post last December to stress the importance of striving for better diversity.

He said this was not "about wokefulness. It is about woefulness. The woefulness of too few women. The woefulness of not reflecting the ethnic, religious and cognitive diversity of our nation."

The MOD has announced it aims to increase the ratio of female recruits coming into the armed forces in general to 30% by 2030 from around 12%.

The RAF - which was the first of the services to open all roles to women and already has the highest ratio of females - is aiming to go further. It wants the ratio of female air force recruits to hit 40% by the end of the decade - more than double the current level.

The target for ethnic minorities is to reach 20% of all air force recruits within the same timeframe, up from around 10%.

Yet the RAF must also hire enough people in the right trades to meet its "operational inflow requirements" - the number of new personnel needed to ensure the service can carry out the full range of tasks it has been given to help keep the UK and its allies safe.

Clearly they are as lacking over in the Mother Country as they are here.

Today, two days after the above report ... the RAF officially replied.


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'.

This is amazingly not satire;

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.

It's ok. It's not you. Go ahead and re-read that again. Diagram the sentences if you need to. No shame.

'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.

Notice she says, "think" a lot? That is a subjective qualifier...because the objective data simply do not tell you that. I am sure the UK's data is similar to ours, well hidden in Millington and elsewhere. As we have referenced before, the facts do not give you that answer. You can "think" and "feel" all you want - but the facts are facts.

There has been a fierce backlash to the recruitment from former military personnel as well as politicians, who have claimed that the recruitment pause 'is an example of pandering to political correctness'.

Former health secretary Sajid Javid said it would be 'complete nonsense' if the RAF has paused recruitment of white males.

He told Sky News: 'I don't think any organisation, whether it's the RAF or any other public or private organisation, should be recruiting on the basis of one's race.

...but what is anyone going to do about it? Well, we have words at least. It is a start;

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander in Afghanistan, said: 'This idea of diversity now dominates the thinking of senior leaders in all of the Armed Forces.

'They have become seized by the need for political correctness over the need for combat effectiveness and that could be damaging to our national defences.

'This is an example of pandering to political correctness; the diverse make-up of the Army is important but it's definitely not the most important.'

At the very end, you can find the heart of the issue here that needs to be fleshed out;

Conservative MP and member of the Commons defence committee Richard Drax – also a former Army officer – said that while he supported more women and ethnic minorities joining the Armed Forces, he was 'nervous of any discrimination'.

He said: 'Although I have been assured there has been no lowering of standards, I suspect that the RAF is manipulating the quota figure.

'There is a surplus of people trying to join the force therefore they are without doubt discriminating.'

I guess I'm the one to do it, so here we go.

In an all volunteer force in a nation of people with free will, you cannot force the metrics to work while maintaining standards. You simply cannot unless you make aggressive actions based on preferential treatment or exceptions towards favored groups or worse - discrimination - against disfavored groups.

Besides the cancerous sectarianism of such systems in the zero-sum game that is accessions, it creates a perpetual problem down the career path that - by design - will do nothing but ensure an ongoing crisis that will demand more diversity commissars and greater discrimination.

The only way to get lower represented numbers in play without doing truly obnoxious actions like, "$20,000 enlistment bonus for self-identified ethnic group-A; $2,000 for group-B; nothing for group-C," you will have to lower objective entry standards for your "preferred" group.

Here is how that dynamic works - and why such sectarianism must be opposed at all levels. 

Having watched this intake-bias in practice, what develops is cohort performance deviation that manifests itself later in everything from time to qualify in your warfare specialty and advanced qualifications, to competitive rankings, to promotion (when only performance is measured). If you desire all groups to be the same to make the metrics look good on a PPT slide, further pressure for additional preference/quotas must be forced on the system. It gets worse over time and more obvious. 

If you believe that objective success criteria (education, standardized tests, etc) are indicators of future success, the process goes like this. First let's break a recruitment population in to three "Cohorts," and then inside these groups let's divide them in to performance quartiles where the 1st quartile has the highest objective criteria scoring, and the 4th the lowest. For demonstration purposes, we will break these up geographically, by US States;

- In Cohort-A (let's call them people born in Kentucky) you have "too many" of in the service based on the US population. You simply must have fewer of them, but darn it - the people from the Bluegrass State simply love serving their nation, the bastards, and keep signing up. Break them up in to the four quartiles we outlined above. Best in the 1st, "most challenged" in the 4th.

- In Cohort-B (let's call these people born in Tennessee) you "don't have enough of. " It seems that the Volunteer State simply is not volunteering enough. Must be the strong market in Nashville or something. They are divided in to quartiles as Kentuckians are. 

- In Cohort-C you have your control group. Cohort-C is a random collection of people from all 50 states, including those born in KY and TN. They are also broken in to quartiles.  

Now we need to recruit for 1QFY23 coming up in six weeks.

In your control group, Cohort-C - as you only want the best - you do what is best for your organization; you do not hire from the 4th quartile. They don't get an offer letter. It just so happens that to meet your intake requirements quartiles 1-3 will get you that number, so all three are given offers. Over time the best will work things out in competition with each other down the career path. Some 1st quartile will fail, some 3rd quartile will rise to the top, but as you have decades of hard data on this, you know that the 1st quartile will as a group have much better qualification times, rankings, promotion rates, and job performance than the 2nd. The 2nd over the 3rd, etc. Your objective criteria are, on average, very good determinations of success.

Then you have the problem with your boss and his PPT slides. There is a problem with Kentuckians and Tennesseans.

States must be represented in equal proportion to the nation as a whole.

You have too many Kentuckians and too few Tennesseans. 

If you had your way, you would do the same thing with the good people from KY and TN that you did with Cohort-C. You really don't want the 4th quartile of either and - because you trust decades of experience with your objective criteria performance predictors - you'd refuse to send them an offer for employment.

However, to make the boss's PPT metrics work, you have to decrease the number of Kentuckians. The only way to do this is to not make any offers for those in the 3rd quartile of Kentuckians. Problem solved there. 

However, that still does not give you enough Tennesseans. As you can't force any more to come in, the only option you have is to dig into the top of Tennessee's 4th quartile to get the numbers to make metrics where you want them to make the boss happy with his PPT. Your problem is solved. As for following problems down the road where your outflow is another's inflow, well, hope for the best. Not your problem. Not reflected on your FITREP.

That is how you get your "entering metrics" to work ... but it has an echo effect down the road. Let's now look at the three cohorts' average odds for professional success looks. 

Cohort-C is right in the middle with the average score. Kentucky has only 1st and 2nd quartile quality people in the service. Their average is significantly higher than any other Cohort. Tennessee's service members not only includes 3rd Quartile, but a non-zero number of 4th quartile personnel. Their objective scoring on criteria for success relative to the other cohorts is much lower. 

This will manifest itself down the career path. On average, Tennesseans will qualify slower, be of less utility for shorter periods of time in their jobs as a result. As such they will be competitively ranked lower and promote at lower rates unless external efforts are made to adjust the numbers to meet certain "goals." Of course, that is exactly what will - and what does - happen.

As things go down the road, Cohort-C looks at people from Kentucky as a bunch of rockstars and wonders what, exactly, is wrong with people from Tennessee. It seems that more issues come from people with a Tennessee drivers license than anyone else. The people from Kentucky start to think they are special and the people from Tennessee start to think there is something either wrong with them or the system.

An unfortunate byproduct of this activity is that 1st and 2nd quartile members from Tennessee - even though they are just as good as 1st and 2nd quartile members from Kentucky and the rest of the nation, will be assumed to be lower performers because such objective difference are not just readily seen --- the organization is well aware of the special considerations given to people who just happened to be born in Tennessee.  

That is the long term insidious nature of forcing quotas in this system. Instead of supporting equality, it forces a system of advantages and disadvantages based on sectarian lines.

No nation, and unquestionably no military, has ever been successful promoting such divisions among its people.


H/t Deborah Haynes.

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