BRISBANE, Australia — Two hundred men missed out on joining the Queensland police force in Australia because recruiters discriminated against them in favor of women, a new report says.
Instead of advertising some positions exclusively for female candidates, the commission said the Queensland Police Service recruiting section discriminated against 200 eligible male candidates between 2016 and 2017.
The report said that in some cases ineligible females had been selected over male applicants who had performed to a higher standard across entry assessments.
“If the various discriminatory practices had not been implemented, the commission estimates approximately 200 more meritorious male applicants would have been successful in their attempt to join the police services,” said the report, tabled in parliament on May 12.
The commission’s chairman Alan MacSporran said the recruiting section of Queensland Police Services also used misleading, deceptive and false reporting practices about recruitment.
He said management knew discriminatory practices were being used and provided misleading and deceptive information to the executives of the police services.
The report said part of the problem was that then-commissioner Ian Stewart never clarified whether the 50/50 target was real or aspirational.
“Among the executive, no one appears to have given any serious thought to – or asked any critical questions about — a strategy that would affect the whole organization for years to come,” MacSporran wrote.
“This report is important for the public sector because this type of conduct could happen in any agency.
“I encourage all public sector executives and Queensland’s public servants to read the report, and especially consider the larger questions this report poses about organizational integrity.”
The Crime and Corruption Commission said there was not enough evidence to take criminal action against those involved but disciplinary measures were appropriate.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said three employees have been suspended in the wake of the report, while a fourth has already left the force.
“The conduct alleged in this report is completely disappointing, and can I reassure the public that this alleged behavior does not meet the standards or expectation of our Queensland Police officers and dedicated staff,” she said in a statement.
Carroll said that six women identified in the report who was recruited despite failing to meet the minimum entry standards had successfully graduated from the academy.
She said Assistant Commissioner Charysse Pond will conduct a review of recruitment practices to strengthen transparency and ensure the episode was not repeated.
“I am committed to independent, transparent and impartial entry testing for all prospective police recruits,” the commissioner said.
“When I was sworn in as commissioner, I said that while it is important to be inclusive and diverse, we should always take the best possible applicants regardless of their gender or ethnicity.
“The public, as well as our own police officers, rightly expects no favors or preferential treatment for any applicant.”
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ritaban Misra)
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