Lingering questions about the recruitment process for Tayside’s period dignity officer have been met with a wall of silence.
The news of the appointment of a Dundee man to spearhead the campaign against period poverty in the region has sparked controversy and debate.
Now concerns over the recruitment process and online advertisement for the post have emerged – with upset activists even submitting a Freedom of Information request.
We asked the Tayside working group responsible for the role to respond to questions raised – including the specifics of the recruitment process.
Who was responsible for recruitment?
Former personal trainer Jason Grant was appointed Tayside’s first period dignity officer this week.
Jason’s most recent role was student wellbeing officer with Dundee and Angus College.
In his new job, he is employed by a project team that includes Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council.
It is called the Period Dignity Working Group.
The group comprises Katie Baxter (Dundee and Angus College), Shelley Hague (Angus Council), Jill Brash (Dundee City Council) and Deborah Lally (Perth College).
They’ve been forced to defend the decision to appoint a man.
They say the role builds on other work in the Tay region “led by a passionate group of people of all genders, ages and backgrounds” and that “Jason was the strongest candidate”.
Social media backlash
That position was widely questioned with politicians, media outlets and even tennis legend Martina Navratilova airing their views.
Judy Murray also criticised the decision.
FFS. 🤬 pic.twitter.com/KMF6W5VMDM
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 16, 2022
Social media platforms and internet chatrooms are also awash with discussion.
By Wednesday, the hashtag #JustAskJason had emerged on Twitter.
Now a Freedom Of Information request (FOI) has been lodged asking for clarity on the recruitment process for the publicly-funded role.
A thread on Mumsnet and other online users queried the recruitment process and whether the post was advertised in the same way as other vacancies.
The advert on recruitment portal myjobscotland shows the position was published on June 10 2022 with a closing date of June 19 2022.
We approached the organisations involved in the working group for further clarification. We asked:
- What is the length of time that a recruitment advert is required to be advertised online?
- Where was the post advertised? Ie what recruitment portals were used?
- What process was followed for the recruitment of this post – ie stages/selection process/interviews/panels etc and how were the panel of interviewees chosen?
- What is the response to allegations that the process was flawed?
What did they say?
Despite the ongoing controversy, our calls for a response were met with a wall of silence.
A spokeswoman simply said the period dignity working group has nothing else to add at this time.