The Air Force inspector general’s second review of racial disparity among and airmen and Space Force guardians has expanded to the list of issues unveiled in the first. Following the 2020 review, the latest effort – which was conducted in February – relied heavily upon more than 100,000 responses from the ranks and scores of interviews and discussions with both service members and civilians.
Among the findings:
• While disparity among races, gender and ethnicity is alone not evidence of racism and discrimination, more in-depth analysis is needed.
• Air Force and Space Force leadership is lacking in minority and female representation – particularly among the officer ranks and in operations career fields.
• Many more female respondents expressed concerns about balancing career and family than their male counterparts.
• Female respondents revealed anonymous accounts of sexism and harassment on the job, adding that pregnancy and maternity carry a negative stigma. They also reported they did not trust their chain of command to rectify problems that arise.
• Trust in the chain of command was further eroded by a perception of an unwillingness among leadership to address incidents of racist and discriminatory remarks.
“These disparities and gaps in trust affect our operational readiness,” said Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones. “We will actively work to rebuilt that trust and ensure Department of the Air Force members, the ‘One Team’ our nation needs to protect our interests in air and space, can serve to their full potential.”