Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton’s Air Detachment deck director signals the deck crew during the start-up of the embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopter on Operation REASSURANCE on March 3, 2015.

The Canadian Forces has a wide variety of career opportunities and all are open to women. Here, HMCS Fredericton’s Air Detachment deck director signals the deck crew during the start-up of a Sea King helicopter on Operation REASSURANCE on March 3, 2015.
Photo Credit: Maritime Task Force - OP Reassurance, DND

Inspiring women to join the Canadian Forces: Short sessions offer a taste of military careers

Women in Force Programme

The Canadian Forces are eager to increase the number of women in the military.

There is a perception that women generally are intimidated by the idea of a military career so a new pilot project seeks to give them short information and “hands on” experiences with the military. The idea is to help dispel myths, get a sense of the realities and the many opportunities, and possibly inspire them to join.

LCol Raby is Deputy Commander, Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, and Canadian Armed Forces’ Head of the Women Recruiting Tiger Team.

Listen
LCol Suzanne Raby
LCol Suzanne Raby © DND

The new pilot programme is called “Women in Force”.

It’s a reaction to a survey showing women really don’t know much about opportunities in the military, and what they do know often consists of myths and inaccuracies.

LCol Raby points out that one of the first myths about women in the Canadian Forces is that women’s roles are limited.

She says every career position of the one hundred or so available, is open to women including such things as front line infantry, or fighter pilot.

Erica Pressling from Kingston, Ontario participates in C7 weapons training at the small arms training facility as part of the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program (CFAEP).
Participants in the 10-day Women in Force programme will get to experience a bit of hands on training with weapons and equipment. © Corporal Neil Clarkson, 14 AMS Wing Imaging GD2015-0285-003

She also points out that the military would like to encourage women in any role from engineers, to lawyers, pilots to doctors, dentists, nurses, from mechanics to firefighters, you name it, all are open to women and in the army, the air force, and the navy.

The newly conceived pilot programme involves two options for those women interested. The first option is a three-day session which takes place at Base Borden in Ontario for English speakers, and St Jean sur Richelieu in Quebec for Francophones.

Master Corporal Natasha Lauzon of 1 Canadian Field Hospital in Petawawa, Ontario, and Sergeant Valerie Charbonneau, a medic with 55 Field Ambulance in Quebec City, Quebec, tend to the foot of a Canadian Armed Forces Nijmegen marching team member, during the Nijmegen Marches in the Netherlands, on July 23, 2015.
A variety of opportunities and training in the medical field are available in the CF. Here, Master Corporal Natasha Lauzon of 1 Canadian Field Hospital in Petawawa, Ontario, and Sergeant Valerie Charbonneau, a medic with 55 Field Ambulance in Quebec City, Quebec, tend to the foot of a Canadian Armed Forces Nijmegen marching team member, during the Nijmegen Marches in the Netherlands, on July 23, 2015. © WO Jerry Kean, 5 Cdn Div Public Affairs

These sessions involve a lot of talking and meeting with those already involved in various trades with the military. They will learn about the realities and requirements of military life, and about the benefits and opportunities of which there are many.

A more involved ten-day visit is available in August which offers a more “hands-on” approach getting to experience various pieces of equipment including weapons. Another myth that most women have is that the physical fitness requirements would eliminate them. The ten-day experience allows them to experience physical fitness training and attempt the physical test for themselves.

Captain Meghan McCready (left), Aerospace Controller with 12 Radar Squadron, watches the control radar screen while Master Corporal Patrick Flynn (right), Air Control Operator with 12 Radar Squadron, relays the information during Exercise AMALGAM DART 15-2 in Resolute Bay, Nunavut on May 31, 2015.
Captain Meghan McCready (left), Aerospace Controller with 12 Radar Squadron, watches the control radar screen while Master Corporal Patrick Flynn (right), Air Control Operator with 12 Radar Squadron, relays the information during Exercise AMALGAM DART 15-2 in Resolute Bay, Nunavut on May 31, 2015. © Corporal Patrick Drouin, 4 Wing Imaging

The experience also gives a chance for one-on-one connection with women and men now in a variety of trades to learn about them first hand.

LCol Raby also points out that an officer training programme still exists in Canada whereby candidates have their university education paid for, and then sign up (and still get paid!) to serve in their degreed trade for a period of at least five years. Experience has shown that a high percentage choose to continue with the Canadian Forces after that time.

Crewmembers of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Glace Bay participate in the Sole Sister Women’s Race during Exercise TRADEWINDS 15 in St Kitts and Nevis on June 6, 2015.
The CF requires hard work but also offers unique experiences and fun in places around the world. Here crew members of HMCS Glace Bay participate in the Sole Sister Women’s Race during Exercise TRADEWINDS 15 in St Kitts and Nevis on June 6, 2015. © Sgt Yannick Bédard, Canadian Forces Combat Camera.

However, this pilot programme is to give a basic familiarization to any adult woman with Canadian citizenship with a minimum of grade 10.

Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon, Commander Joint Task Force - Iraq, addresses the Remembrance Day parade in Kuwait on November 11, 2015 during Operation IMPACT.
Women are rising to the highest levels in the CF, Here, Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon, Commander Joint Task Force – Iraq, addresses the Remembrance Day parade in Kuwait on November 11, 2015 during Operation IMPACT. ©  OP IMPACT – DND-KW03-2015-045-008

She says once this initial pilot programme ends, the military will discuss the impressions of those involved and adjust future programmes to even better serve women who may be interested in the many trades, skills, and exciting opportunities the military has to offer.

LCol Raby says they are quite pleased with this initial pilot programme as all the 120 spots have been quickly filled with a waiting list.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Education, International, Lifestyle, Military, Work & Labour

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “Inspiring women to join the Canadian Forces: Short sessions offer a taste of military careers
  1. Patti says:

    Love it! Very innovative – I hope you may be able to share the results of this pilot.