report: Air force woman, minority faces harassment and prejudice | WGN 720 radio

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Washington (AP) – About a third of women in the Air Force and Space Force said they had experienced sexual harassment, and many could explain the sexism and stigma associated with pregnancy and maternity leave on Thursday. Published research discovered.

A review by air force inspectors also found that minorities and women were underestimated in managerial and managerial positions, especially at the advanced level, and were promoted less frequently. It reflects many of the findings of the first review published last December, in which black military personnel in the Air Force could be investigated, arrested, disciplined and fired for activity. illegal. It turned out to be much higher.

Two reviews of racial, ethnic, and gender disparities within the Air Force and Space Force have largely confirmed the existence of prejudice, but the data does not fully explain why. The study also reflects a broader campaign within the Pentagon and the Biden administration to eradicate extremism and racism.

President Joe Biden has said domestic extremism is an urgent national security threat, and the Pentagon is working to identify extremist behavior and remove it from the military. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered military leaders to discuss militants with the military earlier this year after a number of former and current military personnel participated in the assault on the U.S. Capitol in January. ..

In addition, the Pentagon approved a series of initiatives late last year to more actively recruit, retain and promote racially and ethnically diverse units.

“There are many disparities within the Air Force,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said on a phone call with reporters. “This includes promotion, how people are treated in their careers, how they are treated in missions, other areas of the justice system and people’s perceptions. “

In the latest survey, about half of women polled said keeping a work-life balance and keeping family promises negatively impacted women, but 18 of the men who responded to the survey investigation. Only% share this point of view.

We also found that about 25% of female civilians in the air and space forces reported experiencing sexual harassment during their career. Some women in the unit said they did not trust the chain of command to deal with bad behavior and feared reprisals.

Women and minorities also said they felt they had to work harder to prove their abilities.

The first survey looked at disparities among black military personnel, but the latest survey shows that women, Asia, Native Americans / Alaska Natives, Hawaiians / other Pacific Islanders, active Hispanic / Latin employees, the National Guard, protected areas and civilians were involved.

As a result, thousands of women and members of the minority air and space forces, according to the report, are associated with prejudice, discrimination and sexual harassment that contribute to documented racial, ethnic and gender disparities. I reported a case.

Inspector General Sami Saeed told reporters that some of the biggest gaps, including pilots and other combat-related positions, are in operational work. For example, in 2020, nearly 84% of active air force pilots were white and over 92% were men. In contrast, 7.7% were female, 3% were Hispanic / Latino, 2.7% were Asian American, 2% were Black, 0.5% were Native American, and 0.3% were Pacific Islanders.

According to Saeed, the problem starts with hiring. A common theme in the research and group discussions was that women and minorities believed there was a “lack of people who looked like us and who could guide and advise us”.

They are at a disadvantage when competing with others for promotion and a better job because they are not brought into important operational positions at a decent rate.

Additionally, the report found that Native Americans were 113% more likely to face a court martial than whites, and that they and Hispanic / Latin American Air Force members were 33% more likely. to be the subject of criminal investigations.

The second report, released Thursday, shows some of the efforts underway to address shortcomings found in the December review of prejudice against blacks. We also found that they were less likely to be promoted and believed that a third party would not have the same opportunities as whites.

The Air Force said it was working to raise awareness of the diversity of recruiters, expand partnerships with institutions with large ethnic minority populations, and strengthen recruiting. Its efforts include orienting more minorities to key career areas with more opportunities for promotion.

The Air Force also established new policies for tracking administrative actions based on age, class, gender, and race, and recommended additional training for commanders and other key leaders on unconscious bias.

He told reporters that senior leaders are “100% confident” to focus on the issue of diversity.

“It is not a shiny object at the time of fading,” he said.

Over 100,500 people participated in an anonymous survey for the latest gender and minority surveys. Participants also submitted a single page space with over 16,900 pages of other comments and participated in 122 small group discussions.

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