Queensland police discriminated against male applicants in favour a women, a damning new report has found.
Two hundred men missed out on joining the service as a result of a discriminatory 50:50 recruitment strategy.
Queensland police discriminated against male applicants
The report by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission found QPS recruiters discriminated against male candidates between 2016 and 2017.
“The discriminatory practices saw different standards applied to female and male applicants, with females selected in preference to male applications.”
In some cases, recruiters selected ineligible women over more qualified male applicants.
The CCC chairman, Alan MacSporran QC, said QPS recruiters used misleading, deceptive and false reporting practices to meet gender targets.
He also said management knew about the discriminatory practices and subsequently provided misleading and deceptive information to QPS executives.
The report blames the then police commissioner, Ian Stewart, for failing to clarify if 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 organisation for years to come,” MacSporran wrote.
“What started as a nobly intended strategy was poorly communicated to front line staff who were tasked with its implementation and discriminatory practices were implemented to achieve its goal.”
Unlawful sex discrimination
Employment lawyer Stephen Dryley-Collins from Discrimination Claims says it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sex in employment.
“Employers, or prospective employers, cannot treat someone less favourably because of their sex or gender,” he said.
“Companies and organisations that want to address gender imbalances in their workforce can apply for special exemptions.
“But deliberately and secretly stacking the decks against a particular sex in the recruitment process is not on, especially when sub-standard candidates end up with the job.”
The current police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, confirmed six women recruits identified in the report for failing to meet minimum entry standards had subsequently graduated from the academy.
She committed to reviewing recruitment processes as a result of the report, to improve transparency and ensure unlawful discrimination never happens again.
“I am committed to independent, transparent and impartial entry testing for all prospective police recruits,” Carroll said.
The CCC said there is insufficient evidence to take criminal action against those involved, however it recommends disciplinary measures.
Commissioner Carroll has suspended three employees in the wake of the report, while a fourth had already left the force.
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