Chapter 6: Principle 3: Increasing numbers requires increasing opportunities

Key findings of ADF Review

The ADF Review found that the ADF’s talent pool was narrowing, while competition for workers had intensified. To enhance capability and operational effectiveness, the ADF Review found that the ADF must draw on a broader talent pool, of which women were a critical part.

The ADF Review found that:

  • There had only been a one percent increase in the recruitment of women in the previous ten years, and a two percent increase in the previous 20 years.
  • Despite limited success in the recruitment of women in this period, a number of strategies had proven successful.
  • Women were not proportionally represented in all the categories open to them, and were predominantly clustered in administrative, clerical, logistical or health service roles. This occupational segregation slowed the progress of gender equality and, in turn, affected the number of women who reached senior leadership levels.
  • In implementing the removal of gender restrictions for combat roles, the focus should be on ensuring that the environments into which women would enter were engaged and educated about how they could contribute to effective performance in mixed gender environments.
  • Women benefited from mentoring, networking and sponsorship programs.

The Audit’s findings in respect of each recommendation follow.

Recommendation 8

To attract and successfully recruit more women, COSC should establish innovative strategies that appeal to women at different stages of their careers including:

  • A ‘try before you buy’ option (eg initial commitment of 12 months) and/or removal of Initial Minimum Period of Service, including in mid-career.
  • A ‘recruit to area’ model, where some women and men are recruited directly from the area where they will be posted for a set period, at least initially.
  • Actively facilitating the re-entry of women and men who have moved from the Reserve back into the ADF Permanent Force in order to strengthen the retention of talented people.
  • Providing incentives to Defence Force Recruiting to recruit more women.

 

Intent of Recommendation 8

Given that the Services had been unable to substantially increase the numbers of women recruited into the ADF over the preceding years, the intent of Recommendation 8 was to encourage the ADF to develop innovative strategies which retain the principles of those initiatives which had proven successful and which address the wider barriers to increased female enlistment.

Implementation actions

In April 2013, COSC agreed:

That each Service, to varying degrees, has already implemented a range of ‘innovative’ recruiting strategies and would continue to do so to meet Recommendation 8 of the Report.1

Subsequently, the Performance Framework incorporated relevant responsibilities which emanated from the COSC agreement.2

This section will address firstly the implementation of the recruitment strategies listed in Recommendation 8, namely innovative strategies implemented in accordance with it, and finally the communication and messaging surrounding the implementation of these new recruitment strategies.3

A ‘try before you buy’ option (eg initial commitment of 12 months) and/or removal of Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS), including in mid-career.

Navy

Navy is currently investigating a policy for reduced IMPS for specified underrepresented categories. The Audit is advised that a brief was provided to the Chief of Navy and that the categories included are limited to Combat Systems Operator, Boatswain’s Mate, Marine Technician and Electronics Technician.4 No further information or timetable for development has been provided.5

Army

Army has implemented a 12 months reduced IMPS trial for 12 non-technical trades (1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013) which reduced IMPS from four years to one year for members recruited into those trades.6 The Audit is advised that the trial period has been extended.

The ‘Women in the ADF’ Report that supplemented the Defence Annual Report 2012-2013 states that for financial year 2012/2013, 287 women have enlisted in this scheme.7 This is a strong result. Given this is the first year the scheme has been active, there is no comparative data.

Air Force

Air Force has extended the existing ‘try before you buy’ period. This period will now extend from initial employment training until graduation. Air Force has indicated that clearer marketing of the existing ‘try before you buy’ model would increase its effectiveness. The rationale was stated to the Audit in the following way:

This approach seeks to reassure potential recruits that their ‘step into the unknown’ is not binding until well after they have had a chance to assess whether they are a ‘good fit’ for the organisation.8

Air Force has also implemented a trial of reduced IMPS. The trial applies on a gender neutral basis in various categories and as a special temporary measure for females for Direct Entry Pilots and the Graduate Pilot Scheme. This initiative is welcomed by the Audit.

A ‘recruit to area’ model, where some women and men are recruited directly from the area where they will be posted for a set period, at least initially.

Navy

Navy has a pre-existing location focus in that certain categories are primarily located in particular areas (Aviation categories in Nowra, Hydrographic categories in Cairns and Submarine categories in Rockingham).9 Navy has indicated that it will not implement a new ‘Recruit to Area’ (RTA) scheme but, rather, will increase marketing of this existing location focus to female applicants. Director General Navy People (DGNP) has written to the Director General Defence Force Recruiting (DGDFR) seeking assistance in this regard. The Audit has not yet received confirmation that marketing has been developed or has commenced.10

Army

Army has implemented an RTA initiative designed to attract women who may not otherwise join Army.11 Army Headquarters develops placements, by trade and location (applicable only to other ranks, non-technical), which will be open to RTA entrants for the subsequent financial year. The female candidate then nominates an area where she would like to be posted. This provides women with the opportunity to enlist with certainty about where they will spend their first four years of service.

Air Force

Air Force has implemented an RTA trial scheme for a five year period for female candidates in employment groups with less than 25% female representation.12

Actively facilitating the re-entry of women and men who have moved from the Reserve back into the ADF Permanent Force in order to strengthen the retention of talented people.

Navy

Established prior to the ADF Review, Navy developed the Rejoin Case Management Team (now absorbed into another section). The functions of this team are to manage Reserve members in their transition back into Permanent Navy and to assist with the reappointment of personnel to the Reserve or Permanent Navy. The focus of their work is personnel in ‘critical and perilous’ categories, and comprises measures such as ‘cold calling’ former members to encourage them to rejoin Permanent Navy.

In the financial year 2012/2013, 15 officers (one female) and 33 sailors (eight females) transferred from the Reserves to the Permanent Navy. All the sailors were generated through the work described above, which is a strong result.13 The Audit has not been provided with any comparative data for the 2011/2012 financial year or any developments since the conclusion of the last financial year.

Army

Army has implemented a policy of targeting suitable former Regular Army women (who have either separated or moved to Reserves) for re-enlistment or transfer to Regular Army. The Audit is advised that:

Through this deliberate activity, 42 female soldiers were re-enlisted or transferred to the Australian Regular Army in financial year 12/13 and three since July 13. A further 15 have been approved for re-enlistment/transfer later in 2013 or in Jan 14.14

This is a strong result. The Audit has not been provided with any comparative data in respect of reenlistment or transfers to regular Army for previous years.

Army is actively pursuing options to retain women who have decided to discharge or transfer to Reserves. Additionally, the Audit is advised that, to support re-engagement, Army has included additional options for the offer, such as a posting to a location of choice and extended time to meet fitness and other training requirements.15

Air Force

Air Force has not provided the Audit with any information in respect of facilitating re-entry to the Permanent Force. However, Air Force has undertaken work to contact female ex-members who separated in the last five years from non-traditional roles and have a valuable skillset. As a result, 149 women are expected to receive letters encouraging them to consider rejoining. The Audit has not been provided with data on re-enlistments or transfers for previous years and it unclear how many identified personnel will accept.

Providing incentives to Defence Force Recruiting to recruit more women

The Audit has been provided with the amendments to the Recruiting Services Contract which now includes the following:

The Commonwealth may, at its discretion, determine that an HVT Incentive Payment will apply to specific job types or other Defence priorities for a Year.16

These changes broaden the application of the HVT Incentive to allow Defence priorities, such as the recruitment of women, to be prioritised.17 In addition to the contract amendment, each of the Services has approached the recruitment of women and the subsequent increased Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) workload in differing but increasingly effective ways.

Navy

Navy has advised that DFR assistance in developing a suitable marketing plan and review of DFR website content has been implemented.18

Army

Army undertook the following initiatives:

  • Reiterated to DFR that women are a priority for recruitment
  • Provided additional funding to DFR for the national ‘Women in Army Campaign’, which was developed for 2012/2013 to promote Army career opportunities to women. DFR conducted market research with serving Army women and women in the general community to understand the decision making process of women regarding a career in Army.19 Advertising campaigns which were already active were modified to highlight the participation of women
  • Established ten additional positions at DFR for female Army members to facilitate increased recruitment of women.20

Air Force

Air Force has provided DFR with additional resources, namely the provision of three extra positions, to support the recruitment of women. The marketing campaign ‘Women in the Air Force – Not what you expect’, has also been developed and is being rolled out.21

Other innovative strategies

Recommendation 8 required COSC to establish innovative strategies to attract and recruit more women. The strategies described in the recommendation are not exhaustive. Rather, the intent is that innovative strategies beyond those listed will continue to be developed and, in response, each Service has developed the following:

Navy

Navy has developed a mid-career recruitment and employment scheme for civilians (Mid-Career Entry scheme) to enable employment of skilled civilians as naval officers and sailors.22 The Audit heard:

The other thing that Chief of Navy is very keen for us to explore is to start attempting to recruit people at 35, 40 years of age, and pull from that recruiting pool. And that might allow us to focus on women who have young families but are not so tied to their families, have more flexibility.23

Army

Army has developed a number of initiatives beyond those contained in Recommendation 8.

Related in concept to the ‘try before you buy’ model, the inaugural Women’s Army Adventure Camp was held between 29 April and 3 May 2013. The camp allowed 20 (16 successfully completed) female high school students to participate in Army activities for one week. The rationale of the camp was based on the following:

Studies have shown that potential female recruits can be dissuaded from applying due to a misunderstanding of the nature of Army Service. Army intends [to] change this misconception by providing positive and tailored work experience to prospective female candidates who can act as an influence for Army within their peer groups.24

A second Army Adventure Camp took place, in which many more applications were received and consequently additional participants were selected.25

Army has also implemented a ‘Recruit When Ready’ (RWR) scheme for women. This program ‘permits women to be recruited into ARTC rather than waiting for an enlistment day which aligns with their chosen or primary employment category’s throughput plan’. This provides women with ‘control and choice about when they enter the ARA’.26

Contained in the same CA Directive is the ‘Army Pre-Conditioning Course’ (APCC), the APCC is a 28 day course ‘designed to increase the fitness level of those women who failed to achieve the current Army physical fitness standard for enlistment.’27

Air Force

Air Force has also implemented measures beyond those specifically contained in Recommendation 8.

Air Force has developed two work experience camps (‘Flight Camp’ and ‘Tech Camp’) which were held for the first time in 2013. These camps performed a dual function, seeking to recruit more women to Air Force generally, but also seeking to attract more women to non-traditional roles.

Discussed in detail under Recommendation 10, as they apply to a non-traditional role, Air Force implemented a pilot test waiver trial for female candidates from August to December 2013,28 while one of its main recruitment initiatives, the Graduate Pilot Scheme, will also support the recruitment of more women. Air Force has also developed a Recruiting Priority Placement Scheme (RPPS) which can be applied to female candidates.29

Audit findings

The Audit welcomes the significant progress that the Services have made in implementing this recommendation. Many of the approaches documented are innovative, while proposals – such as reducing IMPS – challenge deeply held assumptions. The Audit encourages monitoring and close evaluation of the success of each initiative in order to identify strategies for broader application.

Army and Air Force have each implemented actions in response to all four of the strategies contained in the recommendation. These Services have also implemented additional innovative strategies to recruit more women. Navy is still in the process of investigating and developing strategies and has tended to rely on pre-existing initiatives, although it has made adjustments to current initiatives to increase their effectiveness.

The effectiveness of recruitment initiatives implemented to date is shown most clearly through the rise in the representation of women in Army:

Army recruited more women in the first six months of this year than it had in the previous 12 months. For the last 20 years we’ve never had more than ten percent representation in the Army; we’re now at 11.3 [%]. So I think we’ve actually seen substantial change, because we actually changed the way we do business.30

The Audit is advised that the last financial year occasioned an increase of approximately 80% in the recruitment of women in Army. This is a welcome result and serves to reinforce the fact that different recruitment models can successfully attract women to the ADF.

At the time of the ADF Review, the Gap Year Program had ceased. In light of the success of this program in recruiting women to the ADF, the ADF Review recommended that the ADF retain the successful principles of the program. The Audit is advised that there has been a recent decision to reintroduce the program.31 The Audit strongly supports this re-introduction, but has not yet been provided with any further information.

The ‘Women in the ADF’ Report component of the Defence Annual Report 2012-13 contains a breakdown of the uptake of women into Army recruiting schemes.32 It is apparent from the significant increase in representation that the schemes have been effective in the recruitment of women. This is over a period when there has been, on occasion, significant negative media focus on the ADF.

Due to the staggered commencement dates for the various schemes, it is difficult to determine at this point which initiatives will prove to be the most effective. The trial IMPS reduction, which commenced earlier than other strategies, stands out as particularly promising. While it is clear that the strategies are working as a whole, the Audit encourages each of the Services to monitor which are more effective at attracting women into their Service. This will provide a sound basis for further innovation.

The Audit findings in relation to each Service’s response to the various elements of Recommendation 8 follow.

‘Try before you buy’ and/or reduced IMPS or ROSO

The development of a ‘try before you buy’, or reduced IMPS/ROSO scheme, is an important strategy for the recruitment of women. Addressing the service obligations that women face at the commencement of an ADF career may serve to reduce the ‘step into the unknown’ which may act as a deterrent to enlistment.

The Audit was told by Navy that:

Reducing IMPS increases the risk of separations earlier than would otherwise be expected with a standard IMPS...33

However, further advice indicates that Navy is intent on implementing reduced IMPS in categories where this is likely to increase participation by women. As this intent is achieved, this strategy will be broadened to other categories where women are underrepresented.34 The Audit welcomes the commitment to a reduced IMPS and urges Navy to mitigate against the risk of early separations.

The Audit has received research undertaken by Air Force which notes that reducing IMPS would have minimal impact on a number of categories. The Audit has not received Navy documentation demonstrating a similar degree of research. The Audit encourages Navy, if it has not done so, to consider whether any expansion of a ‘try before you buy’ experience (for example to sailors) may be feasible.35

Army and Air Force have addressed this component of Recommendation 8. The Audit trusts that Army and Air Force will continue to monitor and evaluate the trials and consider whether the trial may be extended to other categories.

‘Recruit to Area’

This strategy was recommended to acknowledge that choice or stability of location may be attractive to women who would be deterred by having to commence their career at a location that they find undesirable, or by the pressures that posting instability can place on personal and family life.

Army and Air Force have both addressed this component of Recommendation 8. The Audit welcomes the implementation of this initiative in line with the recommendation. The Navy response partially satisfies the intent of the recommendation and the Audit acknowledges the workforce limitations in implementing any expansion of an RTA model. Navy may wish to consider, nevertheless, whether any additional RTA elements may be applicable.

The Audit is unable at this point to determine the effectiveness of the ‘recruit to area’ strategy as it is a new initiative36 and has not been provided with evidence that the additional marketing focus has been undertaken to date. The Audit trusts that the Services will regularly monitor the uptake of this scheme to determine whether there are any barriers to its success, such as location availability or awareness of the scheme.

Actively facilitating re-entry of Reserves

Each of the Services has a strategy in place to facilitate re-entry of Reserves and/or ex-Defence Force members.

The Navy approach addresses the intent of Recommendation 8 but is limited in scope. Though there are clear workforce capability reasons for Navy to focus on critical categories, the Audit considers that broadening the group targeted by the team may yield positive results for the recruitment of women. An additional focus on female re-entry may be required, given that only one of the 15 sailor re-entries is female. The effectiveness of the program has been limited by staffing constraints, although the Audit is advised that additional staffing is expected.37

The Army approach appears to have achieved considerable success (although comparative data has not been provided to the Audit). The success of the approach is supported by its proactive nature and by the offering of innovative incentives.38

The comprehensiveness of the approach should aid its success.

The Air Force approach has identified a significant number of potential female re-entrants, though the Audit is unable to determine the effectiveness of the scheme at this stage. Broadening the program to include Reserve members and personnel from both non-traditional and traditional roles may help provide positive results.

Navy and Air Force may benefit from looking closely at the Army strategy of offering additional support to encourage re-enlistment.

Providing DFR with incentives to attract more women

The broadening of the Recruiting Services Contract to provide incentives for Defence to recruit more women into the ADF is an important step.

In addition to the contract amendment, the Army, Air Force and planned Navy marketing campaigns targeting women demonstrate the Services’ commitment to attracting more women. The additional resourcing provided to DFR, particularly illustrated by Army, is vital for the success of these initiatives.

The Audit encountered some mixed views about this advertising:

Those ads seem to have a lot of women in the ads and the voiceover is female and that sort of stuff which is a little strange because....it seems to me that they’re not advertising for guys...39

The Audit welcomes the advertising campaigns but notes the importance of positive messaging to personnel surrounding such changes.

Other innovative strategies

The intent of Recommendation 8 is that the Services will continue to develop various innovative strategies to increase the recruitment of women into the ADF.

Each of the Services has developed strategies in addition to those contained in the recommendation.40 This demonstrates a broader commitment by the Services to satisfying the intent of the recommendation.

The Audit heard in consultations with Navy personnel that:

...a lot of our [personnel] are technical and their application courses are a number of years long and so for us to have a reduced initial period of service means they’d be out of the Navy before they finished their training...41

Further, the Audit heard:

We can increase the recruiting rate and we’re starting down that path. But the issue that we need to resolve is retention, facilitating retention.42

Recommendation 8 is part of broader cultural reform. Its links with capability and with the sustainability of the ADF should be explicitly made for the benefit of personnel, as positive messaging is an essential component of its successful implementation.

The Audit encountered positive messaging in ADF documentation. For example, a policy Directive provided to the Audit prefaced the recruitment and retention initiatives as follows:

Women are essential to the sustainability and operational effectiveness of the ADF by contributing to a diverse workforce which strengthens the ADF’s ability to be an effective, modern, relevant and high performing organisation.43

The Audit encountered many personnel who had promulgated positive messaging or had been the recipient of effective communication. It was evident from consultations that there were some personnel who had not heard this messaging or who held such entrenched views that the messaging was ineffective. This has resulted in the existence of a backlash against the measures:

I know the problem now is that the guys are finding [recruit to area] unfair.44

I think it’s going to get worse for girls, with the campaign of pushing recruitment...45

...It should be about recruiting everyone and the right people, not just the women.46

There were, however, a variety of views. While some did not understand the need to recruit more women, others understood the capability imperative:

If Defence doesn’t sort out its recruitment over the next 10 to 15 years, when the baby-boomers retire Defence will be around 15,000 below...The only way you’re ever going to fix that is by proactively discriminating.47

If a considered communications plan and positive messaging does not accompany announcements of new initiatives, the effect may be to exclude women further and undermine perceptions of female merit. Command teams must be vigilant, proactively engaging with personnel to challenge negative perceptions.

Recommendation 9
Each Service should identify and commit to a growth target for the number of women to be recruited into their Service. The Service Chiefs should report annually in the ‘Women in the ADF’ Report on progress against the recruitment target.

 

Intent of Recommendation 9

Given that women remain significantly underrepresented in each of the Services and that the preceding ten and 20 years had only seen an increase of one and two percent of women respectively, the intent of this recommendation was to challenge the Services to make substantial progress in the recruitment of women.

Implementation actions

In April 2013, COSC agreed:

To set a target for increasing women’s overall participation in the ADF’s Permanent Force of 25% for Navy, 25% for Air Force and 15% for Army by 2023; with annual reporting against achievement at COSC to meet Recommendation 9 of the Report.48

Based on the representation of women at January 2013, the Services were required by the COSC agreement to increase the representation of women by 2023 as follows:

  • 6.5% for Navy
  • 4.7% for Army
  • 8% for Air Force.49

Subsequently, the Performance Framework incorporated relevant responsibilities which emanated from the above COSC outcome.50 Though the Services acknowledged that meeting their respective targets requires both recruitment and retention elements, the following section is limited to recruitment, in accordance with the recommendation.

Navy

To achieve its target, Navy requires an increase in the total number of women by approximately 1000 from approximately 2500.51 Navy has set recruitment goals for the number of women for the 2013/2014 financial year. The target is to recruit an additional 60 female officers and 270 female sailors.52

The ‘Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14’ contains a comparison between the goals set for the current and previous financial years. In comparison with the previous year, in which 30 female officers and 171 female sailors were recruited, the current targets represent a significant increase. The Audit was advised:

This is considered a stretch...however considering DFR current applicant pipelines and the increase to overall sailor targets, this overall goal is considered achievable.53

Army

To achieve its target, Army has set a short term goal of increasing the representation of women to 12% by 2014.54 The intention is that growth at this initial rate will ensure that the ten year target is achieved.55

To ensure that these targets are achieved, for the first time Army has given DFR specific recruiting targets for women. Army set a goal of recruiting 660 women in the 2012/2013 financial year, compared with approximately 300 in previous years. Army has worked closely with Defence People Capability and DFR to mitigate potential barriers to the increased recruitment of women.56

The Audit was advised that substantial progress was made last financial year against the target:

The innovative recruitment strategies have effectively increased the recruitment of women into the Army from approximately 300 per year in financial years 10/11 and 11/12, to 541 females in financial year 12/13, an 80% increase on annual female recruiting numbers. This has resulted in the current percentage in Army being 11.1%.57

Air Force

To achieve its target, Air Force has developed a growth plan for the number of women to be recruited. The Audit was advised that:

Air Force does not commit to a linear growth path as the first two years are likely to involve a significant learning curve in how to best implement strategies to achieve this outcome.58

The non-linear growth path for female participation outlined by Air Force is as follows:

  • For the first two years, growth of no more than 0.5% (net increase of 70 women each year)59
  • Followed by an increase of 1% annually until 2022 (at which point it is expected that the target of 25% will have been reached).

The Audit is advised that female recruiting targets and ‘appropriate incentives’ have been communicated to DFR.60

Audit findings

The April 2013 COSC outcome which set targets for female representation in each of the Services directly addressed Recommendation 9. In addition, the COSC outcome required each of the Services to report annually on progress towards meeting their respective targets. The Audit welcomes this commitment.

The targets selected for each of the Services were based on research into other similar institutions and on academic literature. The targets were considered by COSC to be ‘aspirational but achievable’61 and the Audit supports the particular targets set. Each of the Services has committed to their respective targets and has undertaken work accordingly. Legal advice has been sought by the Services to confirm that having specific targets for women is not discriminatory under the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).62

The recruitment target set by Navy represents a substantial increase on the number of women recruited in the previous financial year. The Audit welcomes the setting of targets which are both challenging and attainable. Similarly, the target set by Army for the current financial year is over double the number of women recruited in the 2011/2012 financial year. Army is to be commended for the speed in which targets were implemented (targets were implemented for the 2012/2013 financial year).

The increase in the recruitment of women to Army is evidence of a serious commitment to achieving the target. Although the Army recruitment target for the last financial year was not met, the significant increase in recruitment is strong evidence of momentum.

To ensure that the 2023 targets are achieved, it is important that each of the Services has a long-term, as well as short-term, plan against which it can continually assess progress.63

From the documentation provided, Navy does not yet appear to have developed a ten year plan which outlines the increases required per annum to meet the target. There does, however, appear to be upcoming work in this area which the Audit hopes will enable ongoing comparison between recruiting achievements and the growth required to meet the targets.

The approach undertaken by Army has been comprehensive. The annual recruitment of women target is based on an analysis of recruitment and retention rates and a determination of the rate required for Army to meet its 2023 obligation.64 The establishment of a short term target provides a strong basis to ‘get the ball rolling’ quickly and to measure early success in this area. This methodical approach will ensure that Army is in the best position possible to meet the 2023 target.

Air Force has also developed a plan to meet its ten year target. The plan outlines the annual requirements against which progress can be measured but opts for a staged approach over the linear Army strategy.

The Audit encourages the Services to approach the targets in a manner which suits their individual needs and encourages each Service to monitor their progress regularly and to amend their plans as required.

As outlined earlier, messaging about the implementation of all the recommendations is critical to their success. Effectively communicating the link between targets and future capability – while reinforcing that targets do not undermine merit – is vital to ensure that this message is understood by the wider ADF personnel.

The Audit encountered both positive and effective communication in this regard. Documentation provided to the Audit contains positive messaging from the Service Chiefs in respect of these links65 and, similarly, during consultations with members at all levels, the Audit encountered many personnel who understand the importance and rationale of recruitment targets. However, the Audit also heard that this rationale had not been communicated widely enough:

The 25% by 2023 – we all understand that...but it hasn’t been communicated to the rest of the [Service].66

The Audit heard of a backlash against the imposition of recruitment targets and strong feelings that the introduction of recruitment targets would undermine standards and merit. These negative perceptions are deeply entrenched in some areas. For example, the Audit heard:

I worry that we’re actually undermining the quality of people that are coming through just to achieve a target.67

I think that any time that recruiting is given targets, be that getting more females in or just boosting people up, boosting the intake, the standards drop and they accept people that aren’t ready.68

Where changes are not accompanied by appropriate and positive messaging, therefore, there is a risk that negative perceptions – both from men and women – will arise. The Audit encountered many examples of misinformation and negative reactions during its consultations and meetings and urges the Services to counter such negative attitudes and perceptions with effective and positive messaging.

Recommendation 10

To address occupational segregation, COSC should drive and commit to a specific program to recruit and build a critical mass of women in areas that have low representation of women, appoint high performing women to key roles in these areas, ensure women are well supported in these occupations and monitor their retention and career progression. The categories include:

For Officers:

  • In Navy – Maritime Warfare Officers (Principal Warfare Officers) and Engineering (Marine Engineering and Electrical Weapons Engineering).
  • In Army – Combat Officer roles including Infantry Officers and Armoured Officers; non-combat officers including Field Artillery Officers and Engineer Officers.
  • In Air Force – Aircrew (Pilots and Air Combat Officers) and Engineering and Logistics (particularly Electronic, Armament and Aeronautical Engineers).

For Other Ranks:

  • All technical trades in each of the Services.

This includes the Services trialling:

  • Removal of the Initial Minimum Period of Service for women entering particular occupational categories.
  • A ‘recruit to trade’ model which allows the timely intake of women into particular occupational categories, irrespective of when the next trade course commences.

Where necessary, the ADF will work with educational institutions to encourage women’s entry into these fields.

 

Intent of Recommendation 10

Given the uneven distribution of women across the different occupations within the ADF, with most women serving in support and health service roles, the intent of Recommendation 10 was to help to dismantle the occupational segregation which perpetuates gender stereotypes and slows the progress of gender equality.

Implementation actions

In April 2013, COSC agreed:

To apply gender targets to employment groups with less than 15% representation of women (excluding, in the short-term, the roles that have recently had gender restrictions removed) to partially meet Recommendation 10 of the Report. Services will set these targets for select operational groups on the basis of an analysis of industry representation, historical data capability factors and other relevant considerations. Targets, once set, will be provided to HPC for inclusion in the Performance Framework.69

Subsequently, the Performance Framework incorporated relevant responsibilities which flowed from the above COSC outcome.70

As proposed by Recommendation 3, the ‘Women in the ADF’ Report contains a Service specific breakdown of the representation of men and women in all occupational groups across the ADF.71 This table clearly shows which of the broad occupational groups contain a low representation of women.72 This analysis should guide and direct specific action to address this recommendation.

Below is an outline of the actions undertaken by each of the Services in the implementation of this recommendation.

Navy

Outlined in the ‘Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14’,73 Navy’s recruitment strategy includes goals both for sailors and for officers in areas with under 15% representation of women.

For sailors, categories with less than 15% participation have a 25% female recruiting goal.74 Navy has indicated that these positions are to remain open for female candidates exclusively until eight weeks prior to enlistment (at which point they will be opened to male candidates to ensure the maximum target is achieved). For officers, Primary Qualifications with less than 15% participation also have a 25% recruiting goal.75

Navy has advised that a model to increase participation levels in employment areas where women comprise less than 15% of the workforce is being developed. The Audit is supportive of this but has been provided with limited information in this regard.

As referred to in Recommendation 8, Navy is investigating an IMPS reduction trial for limited categories in order to attract women to these underrepresented areas. The Audit was advised that:

As a result of the research conducted within Navy, four categories where women are currently under-represented have been assessed as being suited to a reduced IMPS. They are Combat Systems Operator (CSO), Boatswain’s Mate (BM), Marine Technician (MT), Electronics Technician (ET).76

Army

Army has indicated that it will defer action on the implementation of Recommendation 10:

The Army is perceived by the public to be a non-traditional role for women...To provide a foundation, Army will grow female representation to a sustainable level through increasing its general recruiting. As Army’s recruitment increases beyond 12% Army will then commence deliberate campaigns to recruit women into combat and technical roles.77

Air Force

Air Force has committed to increasing female representation in non-traditional roles and has developed additional support mechanisms for these women. Air Force has undertaken the following key actions to increase the number of women in non-traditional roles:

  • As a first step, identified non-traditional roles for female Airmen and Officers (which contains all the roles identified in the recommendation), with graphs of percentages of female representation in musterings/specialisation for years 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2013 which clearly show trends for these roles78
  • Implemented female recruiting targets for financial year 2013/2014 which are aimed at increasing female participation in under-represented workforces79
  • Developed a Recruiting Priority Placement Scheme (RPPS) for female pilots, which allows earlier intake dates to ensure potential female pilot candidates are not ‘lost’ due to limited availability of positions or through recruiting delays80
  • Amendments to IMPS/ROSO on a gender neutral basis with additional reductions for women only81
  • Developed a Pilot test waiver trial for female candidates (August – December 2013) and amendments to selection of female Pilot candidates to accelerate their process and increase prospects of being selected82
  • Implemented a Graduate Pilot Scheme (GPS) to encourage women already pursuing careers as civilian pilots (currently studying a bachelor of aviation at a civilian university) to consider pursuing careers as Air Force pilots
  • Developed an Air Force marketing campaign entitled ‘Women in Air Force – Not what you expect’ which includes advertising women employed in non-traditional roles, including aviation, engineering and technical trades.83 The campaign also includes the development of a micro-site which allows the user to ‘meet’ four females employed in non-traditional roles and a female physical training instructor. To facilitate access to female representatives from these roles, Air Force has created three additional positions with DFR
  • Air Force has developed a ‘Tech Camp’ which is intended to provide young women considering an Air Force career in aviation technical and engineering trades the opportunity to briefly experience first-hand the reality of what these roles are.

Air Force has also addressed the recommendation by developing, expanding or focusing the support for women in non-traditional roles including:

  • Inaugural Women’s Development Forum in 2012, with the theme ‘Surviving and Thriving in Non-Traditional Employment.’84 The forum was attended by male and female members and aims to help Air Force better understand the challenges and opportunities experienced by women in non-traditional roles85
  • Continuation of Women’s Integrated Networking Groups (WINGs), development of a handbook for facilitators, and the establishment of WINGs for technical trades known as TECHNET. To support the introduction of TECHNET, a newsletter has been developed to provide women with information on upcoming events or discussions on hot topics for female technicians86
  • Development of ‘Flying Solo, the Handbook for Flying Females’, and other diversity guides (for example, Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers in Air Force, for sole and non-custodial parents, The Working Parents Toolkit – a guide to parental leave and returning to work, and the handbook, Flying Through Parenthood – a parental planning guide for women aircrew)
  • An organisational psychologist with relevant experience is in the process of joining the Air Force Specialist Reserve to offer insight into female learning styles within the aviation environment.87

There is discussion about the possibility of using existing female pilots to engage and mentor female pilots at Basic Flying Training School. Air Force is also attempting to involve a female civilian pilot in mentoring Air Force female pilots.88

Many of the strategies contained above fall under the broader framework of Project WINTER (Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles). That project is currently focused on recruitment, support, retention and progression of women Pilots, Air Combat Officers, Technicians, Engineers and women intending to pursue careers in ground defence roles. While the overarching strategy was approved in 2012, many of the initiatives developed to support implementation of the recommendation fall within its operation.89

Audit findings

The COSC outcome pertaining to gender targets for employment groups comprising less than 15% representation of women directly addresses an essential component of the recommendation.90 The Audit welcomes this commitment to building a critical mass in areas that have a low representation of women.

The remaining aspects of the recommendation, such as appointing high performing women to key roles in these areas; ensuring that women are well supported; and monitoring their retention and career progression are incorporated in the Performance Framework which the Audit understands will be implemented early 2014.

As detailed, the extent to which the Services have committed to building a critical mass of women in these areas is varied. The Audit commends Air Force for its efforts in this regard and urges the Services to continue to work on the areas of the recommendation which have not yet been addressed.

According to Defence’s analysis of gender by occupation the following areas have the lowest representation of women:

Figure 27: Occupations with lowest representation of women – Navy

Occupational Group
Representation
of women
Aviation
5.3%
Engineering, Technical and Construction
6.4%

 

Figure 28: Occupations with lowest representation of women – Army

Occupational Group
Representation
of women
Aviation
6.6%
Combat and Security
1.1%
Communications, Intelligence and Surveillance
13.7%
Engineering, Technical and Construction
2.7%


Note: Combat and Security is affected by the legacy of female exclusion from combat positions.

Figure 29: Occupations with lowest representation of women – Air Force

Occupational Group
Representation
of women
Aviation
11.2%
Combat and Security
7.7%
Engineering, Technical and Construction
4.1%

 

In contrast, categories such as Health have high representations of women (46.6% in Navy, 40.7% in Army and 58% in Air Force). Similarly Logistics, Administration and Support categories include high numbers of women (37.8% in Navy, 23.1% in Army and 42.2% in Air Force). Defence’s analysis corroborates the examination conducted by the ADF Review. Such marked occupational segregation serves to reinforce gender stereotypes about the respective roles of men and women.

The categories outlined above clearly identify areas requiring action. However, as the Services are aware, within these broad categories there may still be significant occupational segregation and a more detailed approach is required.

The need to address issues for women associated with non-traditional work environments was reinforced to the Audit during consultations. The Audit heard:

If you ask the women in those [feminised] trades are they experiencing issues in the workplace, they will tell you ‘no’...The non-feminised trades – different story completely.91

I find it [male dominated environment] a very harsh working environment... It’s not necessarily that men are harsh or anything, it’s just men do things a different way, a certain way and they are the dominant personnel here.92

You’ve got to be one of the boys.93

Similarly, when asked what sort of comments were made to women and what sort of attitudes existed in these environments the Audit heard:

Just that you’re not strong enough, that sort of thing. Just put-downs all the time.94

I wouldn’t say I was excluded; more that you’re picked out as weaker than them.95

The Audit welcomes Navy’s implemented and planned developments, in particular the setting of female recruiting goals for categories/Primary Qualifications with less than 15% female representation. While Navy has indicated that a model and reduced IMPS scheme will be developed, to date these initiatives do not appear to have been implemented and the Audit has been provided with limited information in respect of their development. The Audit encourages Navy to continue to progress work in this area and to expand developments to cover the full ambit of the recommendation.

In respect of Army’s response to the implementation of Recommendation 10, the Audit recognises that the ADF itself is in some respects a non-traditional role for women and, in particular, that Army may be less ‘traditional’ than Navy and Air Force. However, as outlined above, there is significant occupational segregation within Army which creates barriers to gender equality.

The low representation in combat categories is partially due to Army containing the highest number of categories that have previously been restricted to men only. In this respect, work undertaken by Army in the implementation of Recommendation 11 will partly satisfy Recommendation 10. In light of the above figures, the Audit reiterates the importance of increasing the representation of women in areas where there is substantial occupational segregation. Further, Recommendation 10 is not confined to increased recruitment in non-traditional areas but, rather, extends beyond to measures such as the development of support mechanisms for women who may already be in these areas. The Army response does not take into consideration these additional aspects of the recommendation.

Meanwhile, Air Force has undertaken substantial work in the implementation of this recommendation, which the Audit welcomes. Specifically, Air Force has developed a number of key strategies which directly relate to the recommendation. The Gradate Pilot Scheme (GPS) is a targeted pilot recruitment model that aims to encourage women studying their second or third year of a bachelor of aviation at a civilian university to join Air Force.96 The scheme will also involve substantial amendments to the IMPS.97 The Audit encourages all of the Services to trial reduced IMPS for non-traditional roles, and to consider its feasibility as Air Force has done:

They’re not leaving at their current IMP, so if we reduce the IMPs to a point where they’re even less qualified, it’s not going to make any difference.98

This observation challenges the assumption that reducing IMPS entails higher or earlier separations and takes into account the employability of unqualified personnel. It is intended that the trial scheme would recruit ten women per year, which would represent a substantial increase in the number of female pilots. The Audit heard that:

Getting mass is going to be a key to this...and that’s why we’ve got things like the graduate pilot scheme. We’re trying at fast tracking ways.99

This scheme, in addition to the other highly targeted schemes such as the Pilot test waiver trial and the RPPS, demonstrate a substantial response to Recommendation 10, helping to position Air Force to attract and build a critical mass of women in those areas.

An important component of attracting women to areas with a low representation is the development of a marketing strategy.100 The Air Force marketing campaign concept is based on research which indicated that females responded positively to seeing women perform non-traditional roles.101 The research and production of this marketing campaign is illustrative of a commitment by Air Force to attract more women to these roles. The ‘Tech Camp’ will also help to demystify some of the notions surrounding technical trades and to target inaccurate assumptions. The research and production of the marketing campaign and camp are illustrative of the commitment by Air Force to attract more women to these roles.

Recommendation 10 also required the Services to ensure that women in non-traditional roles are well supported. Air Force has continued to expand the support provided to women in these occupations by developing and expanding the Women Integrated Networking Groups (WINGs) program. The creation of TECHNET directly addresses the recommendation. The TECHNET intranet site states:

Women in these areas face unique and sometimes difficult career and workplace challenges, such as feelings of isolation or lack of mentoring and development, particularly if there are only one or two women in the work area. To that end we have taken steps to establish a side network of the WINGs program focused on women technicians, called WINGs (TECHNET).102

The expansion and specialisation of WINGs into the technical trades will provide much needed support for women in these roles. The newly developed ‘Flying Solo, the Handbook for Flying Females’ and the accompanying encouragement from the CAF provide targeted support to female pilots. The CAF foreword states:

I believe there is strength in just knowing others have walked in your shoes and succeeded. I would also encourage you to pick up the telephone and call any one of the women listed at the back of this guide – they are all willing to share their wisdom, provide guidance or act as a friendly ear when times are tough. Nobody can get through pilots course without support.103

This handbook provides female pilots with practical advice and guidance with respect to issues that they may face and provides avenues for support. Such support and encouragement to use formal and informal support services is strongly endorsed by the Audit.

As discussed under previous recommendations, the communication and messaging surrounding their implementation is critical to their effectiveness. The extracts above indicate that many of the initiatives have been accompanied by positive messaging.

The implementation of the Graduate Pilot Scheme is an important development for recruiting women to this non-traditional area. The scheme involves a substantial reduction of IMPS for females entering through this scheme. The Audit heard significant backlash against this. For example, when he learned of the reduction in IMPS, one male pilot trainee said:

I’ve got 11½ years, why have you got 3½?104

Some bases told the Audit that there had been limited consultation and that the program may not have been presented in a sufficiently positive light. Subsequently there was significant resistance and personnel were divided on the legitimacy of the initiative.105

This may have been the result of the absence of a communications strategy. Air Force is aware of the communication issues associated with implementation of schemes which are perceived to involve special treatment for women. As part of the New Horizon program, Air Force conducted widespread visits to, amongst other things, ‘assess the depth of penetration of our behavioural change message.106 CAF acknowledges that:

The visits were timely and addressed concerns raised over the release earlier this year, of new policies and initiatives aimed at increasing female representation in non-traditional Air Force roles...107

Clear, targeted messaging and strategic communication can avoid, or mitigate, a backlash against women, as well as against the temporary special measures designed to achieve gender equality. The Audit urges Defence and the Services to be proactive in this area.

Recommendation 11

To support the removal of gender restrictions (women in combat) COSC should:

  • Ensure that the transition program incorporates corps transfers, peer support for women, specially selected leaders and teams appropriately skilled and trained to create the conditions for mixed combat teams to perform effectively. In relation to corps transfers of women into combat units, the ADF should implement a policy of non-reduction in rank and pay. The transition program is to be reviewed regularly and evaluated based on feedback from the mixed teams and their leadership, and performance against key metrics including perceived level of support, success of integration, tenure and injury rates.
  • Ensure the environments into which women will enter are ready, appropriately briefed and trained and that the leadership and team are fully engaged and educated about how they can contribute to effective performance in mixed gender environments.
  • In the first instance:
    • Focus on one combat unit/work section/platoon/company in each Service where effective performance in mixed gender environments has been achieved.
    • Ensure that in mixed gender work sections of ten or less ADF personnel there should be no less than two women.
    • Ensure that women are clustered within the category to achieve as close to a critical mass as possible.
  • Communicate and share lessons learned across the Services.

 

Intent of Recommendation 11

To implement the removal of gender restrictions for combat roles successfully, the ADF Review found that the focus should be on ensuring that leaders, and teams as a whole, were engaged and educated about how they could contribute to effective performance in mixed gender environments. The intent of Recommendation 11 was that the success of women’s entry into previously restricted roles should not be the responsibility of individual women, but a collaborative endeavour instead.

Implementation actions

In April 2013, COSC agreed:

To broad concepts for networking, mentoring, sponsorship and individualised support that can be further developed for future presentation to COSC to meet Recommendations 11 and 12 of the Report.108

Prior to the release of the ADF Review (Phase 2 Report), the ‘Implementation Plan for the Removal of Gender Restrictions on Australian Defence Force Combat Role Employment Categories’, had been endorsed. As part of the implementation plan, the Services have developed a ‘risk log’ which addresses general risks, along with risks particular to each of the Services.109 Each of the Services has also developed an implementation plan which was more specific to their Service. In addition, a progress report on the removal of gender restrictions dated 17 December 2012 has been provided to the Audit.

Each of the Services are initially restricting employment in combat roles for women to in-Service transfers.110 This policy is designed to establish a pool of junior leaders in the combat units who can then act as role models for future female ab initio (direct entry) entrants which will be opened in January 2016.111

The degree to which the Services are required to undertake actions in response to this recommendation depends upon the number and size of the categories affected by the removal of gender restrictions. It was therefore understood that the recommendation would weigh most heavily on Army, as Navy and Air Force have fewer categories affected.

Navy

The only Navy role affected by the removal of gender restrictions is that of Clearance Diver (officer and sailor). The first female officer commenced Mine Warfare Officer training in February 2013, and commenced Clearance Diver Officer training in July 2013. Training for female Clearance Diver sailors will commence from mid 2015 for both direct entry and in service candidates.

A female officer has been posted to the RAN Diving School (RANDS) and will be the Divisional officer for all members on the diving course, while a female Petty Officer has also been posted to the RANDS to act as Divisional Senior Sailor in addition to providing advice on training procedures and progress.112

Navy is developing a cultural change program to support the integration of women into combat roles. The program will draw on Navy’s previous experience in integrating women in male only areas, and will incorporate education and training for trainers and supervisors.113

An experienced sailor who was ‘instrumental’ in the integration of females on to submarines has been engaged to provide assistance. Discussions between this sailor and the Navy Psychologist will form the basis of a workshop or discussions with diving school personnel and potentially for the wider diving community. This information will also be used to develop a guidebook for both male and female divers, under the guidance of the Navy Psychologist and the Navy Strategic Women’s Advisor. The guidebook will contain guidance on expectations, potential challenges and practical strategies to address these challenges. The status and content of the guidebook is unknown at this stage.

Army

Army has undertaken steps to provide support to women who transfer to combat roles. The Audit is advised that the Director General Personnel – Army (DGPERS-A) ‘provides specific direction to combat units with female transferees to ensure the relevant Commanding Officer understands the training progression required to support female candidates and to support their progression through the provision of mentors.’114 The Audit has been provided with examples of the ‘guidance for the management of’ two females who are transferring to combat categories.115 These are examples of how female transferees are being individually managed.

For women considering in-Service transfer to a combat role, Army is permitting women (who pass the Physical Employment Standard – PES) to trial the category for a short period to allow them to make an informed decision about whether they wish to progress. This is known as On the Job Experience (OJE). In addition, female transferees have the option to revert back to their previous category without consequence within the first 18 months.116

To physically accommodate the removal of gender restrictions, Army has upgraded certain facilities.117 Army has also created a ‘women in combat’ webpage for members to obtain information on issues associated with the removal of gender restrictions.118

Air Force

There are minimal Air Force roles that are affected by the removal of gender restrictions.119 The Audit is advised that the relatively low number of impacted roles means that Air Force can readily accommodate any policy changes within existing resources.120

Air Force has advised that the Air Force Workforce Diversity team will work closely with commanders of units into which women will enter for the first time. The placement of additional Air Force personnel at DFR is also intended to assist female applicants through the application process.121

As a similar measure to that implemented by Army, Air Force has initiated a short six-week job familiarisation detachment option. This allows potential female candidates to try the role with the option of returning to their previous position.122

As a means of addressing the readiness of the recently opened environments, Air Force documentation provided to the Audit indicated that there may be facilitated education sessions (gender sensitivity and cultural awareness) for their training staff, supervisors and peers, in addition to development of the guidebook mentioned above, providing advice on strategies for managing potential challenges. These are welcome developments, though as yet the Audit has not been provided with confirmation that this has occurred.

Air Force has noted that the progress of women who decide to transition to combat roles will be discretely monitored.123

Air Force has undertaken substantial work to provide support to women in non-traditional roles, and mentoring for women more generally. This is addressed at Recommendation 10.

Audit findings

This section addresses the specific context of each Service in terms of implementing Recommendation 11, along with issues regarding the timing of implementation; the development of a critical mass; and the level of support required for women entering combat roles. The section then addresses the importance of the culture of these environments for successful female integration and, finally, the backlash associated with some entrenched perceptions of special treatment.

Each Service has taken steps to implement Recommendation 11. Given that the degree to which the removal of gender restrictions affects the Services is varied, the extent and type of response has also varied. Further, each role and location has its own considerations and characteristics. The Audit acknowledges these differences in the experience of the Services and does not recommend a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Rather, it reinforces the importance of a strategy based on the specifics of the location, category and workplace culture.

Timing of preparation

Recommendation 11 emphasises that preparation for the removal of gender restrictions is vital to its success, meaning that the Services should ensure that environments into which women will enter are ready, appropriately briefed and trained and that the leadership and team are fully engaged and educated about how they can contribute to effective performance in mixed gender environments.

It is important that implementation be timely. The Services will therefore need to determine when the ‘right’ time is to start working with particular personnel who will either be leading or working/training with the initial female entrants. The timing will also depend on each particular role, as women will not enter all categories at the same time. In its consultations the Audit encountered significant apprehension:

[We haven’t] seen yet how it’s going to be received here because we haven’t done it.124

Even here in the training, she hasn’t gone into those areas of training yet where she’s going to be in the field with the boys, having to go to the toilet, have a shower, get changed.125

What happens if I have to fail her and she is that person who doesn’t accept failure?126

He may be with her out in the field unsupervised for hours a day. Where is his protection...as in, if there is an allegation? We work in close, confined environments... If you brushed past her three times, is that sexual assault? Is that sexual discrimination if she takes it the wrong way?127

The Audit heard from many people who are nervous about the integration of women into combat roles. The Audit appreciates that this is, in part, due to the fact that these changes are yet to occur. Allaying these fears must be part of the change management process, as effective preparation to ensure readiness is critical.

Critical mass and support

It is not expected that there will be significant uptake of women into combat categories in the short term. This highlights the importance of ensuring that these environments are supportive and suitable for female integration, an imperative that is common to each of the Services.

The Audit heard:

Female interest in combat roles has been limited to single figures. This makes it difficult to cluster women in accordance with the recommendation.128

We will not get critical mass in this because...the number of women who will be physically capable of doing this [training] are not going to come through in groups of twos and threes. You are likely to get one, maybe two, attempting...So it’s something that we need to look at as an organisation and we’re looking at in terms of leading in a mixed gender environment because these women are going to be ones and twos.129

This issue has been considered by each of the Services. The Audit heard that insisting on multiple women on a given course may disadvantage women who wish to commence training but are unable to do so due to limited interest. The Services have largely considered it as less important than allowing the interested women to proceed. The Audit acknowledges this position but reinforces the importance of clustering women in combat where feasible.

To address limited support avenues and to help create an environment better equipped to manage the integration of women into combat positions, Navy has appointed a female officer and senior sailor to the staff at RANDS.130 The Audit heard both positive and negative views from staff members:

We were told we needed an officer so that she could mentor the girls on the course, which is fair enough because when we come through we’ve got chiefs to talk to and you can interact with them because their blokes, and I think they probably need a female mentor here, because there’re going to be female issues on course...131

Originally I was tagged as a mentor role and then the question came up...’Why does she get a mentor? Because she’s female’...You’ve got seven other blokes on the course with her. Why are they not getting the same treatment?132

Guys are asking, ‘Why does she have a mentor. I don’t have a mentor.’ ‘Okay, guys she needs a mentor because she’s going to have issues of the female nature that you’re not going to be able to help her with and she’s not going to want to talk to you. She’s going to want to talk to a female.’ Staff haven’t been educated on that.133

From my perspective, they should have taken a bit more time to implement it a little bit better so that we have the correct structure... We could have done business better, but it wasn’t set up well enough.134

Despite the mixed reception, the Audit strongly supports the strategy of posting women into these areas to assist in creating the conditions for mixed gender combat teams to perform effectively. It encourages Navy to continue efforts in communicating the imperative of this strategy more broadly in RANDS and the Navy.

The culture

Recommendation 11 was intended to help create environments which are culturally ready for the integration of women. Appropriately skilled and trained leaders and teams are vital for successful integration. Women have been successfully integrated in other categories for many years, with particular experience in Navy following the integration of women into submarines. The Services can learn from the Navy integration experience. The Audit welcomes the engagement of personnel involved in that experience to assist in the implementation of further change.

The Services are aware of the importance of addressing the culture of the environments that women will enter. The Audit heard from each of the Services:

Integrating women into combat roles will require cultural reform and strong leadership to ensure that women are afforded the opportunity to perform within those roles.135

Positive leadership and an inclusive culture has been the key to the removal of gender restrictions into previously restricted categories. Other planning issues within the implementation plan focusing on support networks and mentoring, open communication, policy and documentation updates have contributed to positive outlooks.136

During consultations the Audit heard on many occasions that the positions should be open to anybody who can perform the job. For example, the Audit heard:

As long as that person can do everything that everyone else can do, there should be no dramas.137

If we make something an issue, then everyone talks about it and forms views. If you say it’s not an issue because females are now allowed to serve in every part of the [Service] the issue goes away. It goes away because there’s no argument. The commander makes a decision; we crack on. I have no issue with females serving in any part of [Service]. I strongly advocate for it.138

However, the importance of addressing the culture in these environments was also reinforced during consultations:

It’s an alpha male run corps. We’re all there full of alpha males, and throwing a chick in the middle of that...it’s going to start friction in the sections...I’ve seen it happen...where there were females thrown into the sections for the infantry dudes, and it didn’t work.139

You go to any infantry or artillery unit and I wouldn’t want to be integrating with them, as a female...I think the culture needs to change before you’re going to integrate women in it.140

On the surface everyone says ‘if they meet the standards, no problems’... and then you scratch a little deeper and the biases start.141

Many of the women the Audit spoke to are aware of these attitudes and, combined with the inherent difficulty of these roles, the Audit heard of some reluctance to be the first woman to enter combat positions:

No one wants to go first because they know what those girls are going to go through. It is going to be really tough.142

No one wants to be the one that fails.143

You’re going to have to prove yourself.144

This is an added pressure which may impact on success. The Services are aware of these issues and are addressing these matters. For example, Navy is implementing a cultural change program which will:

incorporate additional education and training that will assist trainers and supervisors to adapt to change and assist the assimilation of women.145

The Audit heard in consultation with Army personnel:

For the first women that do come through we’re going to need to select the company commanders and the sections that we put them into very carefully – the ones that have good strong leaders that are tolerant and non-biased. I think we will have to do a level of manoeuvring there to make sure that they’re put into an environment to succeed rather than to fail...146

Further:

We already have some people doing various elements of the courses. There’s been two women from [a specific category] who’ve just gone and done that, so I’m hoping to catch them and interview them and talk about their experiences, how they were treated, what worked, what didn’t, what they experienced, how we can make it better.147

This planning and continual improvement directly supports the recommendation and will assist in ensuring that these environments are supportive and conducive to effective mixed gender performance.

Army has also provided examples of individual management for women transferring into combat categories. Air Force has advised that the Air Force Workforce Diversity team will work closely with commanders of units that women will enter for the first time. The Audit welcomes the commitment by each of the Services to work closely with personnel and to tailor strategies that will work in different environments.

However, the Audit also heard that these initiatives may require further work:

I am concerned it is not in a suitable format or depth to ensure that [my Service] has sufficiently delivered a cultural change program for the removal of gender restrictions.148

We talk about being diverse and what the female will bring to the organisation. But that’s where it stops. I think we need to ...get it in terms of why... How is this going to improve capability and so forth? Once you get that message to [the member] at the bottom, he’s got his male testosterone boiling up, give him something practical and give him something meaningful.149

She’s been basically, I wouldn’t say thrust upon us because we knew it was coming, but there’s been no training direction, briefing to the staff here at all, young or old, on how to deal with that interaction.150

I just think a heads up for the boys on how it’s going to be dealt with, how their daily interactions are going to change, what they have to look for, how to deal with those issues where there might’ve been a bit of inappropriateness...151

These challenges are recognised by the Services and the Audit agrees with the observation noted in COSC Agendum 69 of 13 that:

The provision of support to women entering those roles is ongoing and will further evolve with experience; Service-specific strategies to ensure women entering combat roles (and other non-traditional fields) include access to mentors, role models and more senior women working in similar situations.152

Enduring attitudes and backlash

The importance of preparing the environments for the inclusion of women in combat roles is amplified by some of the enduring attitudes and backlash encountered by the Audit. For example, the Audit heard:

I think the thing that makes the section work so well together is the mateship... The boys...that’s what makes it so close like especially when you go overseas, the boys look after each other...I think with a female in that section you’re going to sort of break down that cohesion.153

The standards are going to drop, they will drop.154

I think throwing a girl into the mix, even though they might be fully capable of doing the job, there’s other factors that associate with it and stuff. It’s definitely a boys club... I just don’t think the girls would ever get the same respect or treatment that the guys would get.155

Rumours create an additional challenge for women entering combat roles. The Audit was told of unsubstantiated rumours that females undertaking training had failed assessments but had been passed due to their gender. Some of the men that the Audit spoke with had decided that a particular female, who was yet to arrive at their location, was not capable or deserving of the position:

I can see them just letting [women] slide through...I’ve heard she’s even failed the...course, but they keep pushing her through.156

When it comes to women in a combat role... it’s been proven that females can’t really ... sustain or take as much as males, physically... But I believe at the moment they’re dropping the standard so that she will be able to pass it or they’re assisting her. They’re babying her through it pretty much.157

Similarly, rumours of special treatment were circulating at one location where a female trainee had been provided with custom made equipment due to sizing issues. The Audit heard:

All these standards change. Currently, right now, one of the issues some of the younger staff have got is that we had to buy her specialised equipment. She’s too small to fit into [the existing equipment]. Whereas previously... ‘Oh, this doesn’t fit me’. ‘Tough mate. Get on with it.’158

The entrenched attitudes towards special treatment make addressing these issues critically important. Certainly, the ADF Review explored the reasoning behind the provision of specialised equipment for female personnel although in this instance, documentation provided to the Audit notes that:

No equipment issues or new requirements have been identified. Custom made [equipment] is provided for all [who need them].159

This may be the case, but the perception and experience of those working in this environment suggests that there remain significant cultural issues to be addressed.

Finding the balance

The intent of Recommendation 11 was that leaders and teams create appropriate levels of support for women entering combat roles. Each Service is attempting to strike a balance between ensuring that the relevant environment is ready and responsive, whilst also ensuring that support and monitoring are not overly intrusive.

Excessive attention may interfere with the ability to ‘get on with it’ and may hamper the progress of the initial women. The balance will need to be struck by each of the Services, and each appears to be attempting to deal with it. For example, the Audit heard from a Training Command:

This is a really, really exciting time, but it’s a really delicate time as well.160

Achieving this balance will require the trial of various strategies and continual reflection on the effectiveness of those strategies. For example, the Audit heard that one Service had initially focused too intently and then partially withdrawn:

We need to walk back from some of this because it was making too much of an issue out of it.161

Too many people at a time worrying about this one person only. She just wants to be left alone.162

Finding this balance is critical to ensure that there is not excessive ‘spotlighting’ of particular women and to refocus responsibility away from the female candidates towards creating a supportive, functional team environment.

Recommendation 12
COSC should integrate and rationalise the current suite of mentoring, networking and sponsorship programs available and facilitate access to an appropriate mentor or sponsor for any member who so desires, at any stage of her/his career. A mentor or sponsor could be male or female, from within the Service, another Service or outside the ADF. Mentoring and sponsorship programs are to be based on best practice principles, and their purpose, objectives and duration of the relationship to be determined by the member and the mentor or sponsor.

 

Intent of Recommendation 12

Research shows that mentoring, networking and sponsorship are particularly important for the success and progression of women in non-traditional workplaces. While the ADF Review found existing initiatives across the ADF, many had unclear objectives, were inconsistent in their implementation and were difficult to access. The intent of Recommendation 12 was to improve access to best practice mentoring, networking and sponsorship opportunities, so as to benefit individuals and the organisation as a whole.

Implementation actions

In April 2013, COSC agreed:

to broad concepts for networking, mentoring, sponsorship and individualised support that can be further developed for future presentation to COSC to meet Recommendations 11 and 12 of the Report.163

The Agendum paper for the April COSC meeting included preliminary discussion on four main proposed programs which were intended to form the structure of the unified Defence program. The programs include:

  • Defence-wide WINGs
  • Defence Mentoring Program (for all personnel)
  • WINTER Buddy Program
  • Women’s sponsorship.

These programs were part of the Agendum paper which sought COSC endorsement of the ‘overarching concept of the four schemes’. The intention was that these schemes would then be further developed for future presentation to COSC.

A subsequent July 2013 COSC agendum paper contains the following update on the implementation of Recommendation 12:

The Services have approved a framework for delivering defence-wide, locally delivered mentoring and networking programs to supplement extant Service-specific mentoring and networking initiatives. The Workforce Development Directorate will implement and manage the new framework and programs, which are planned for roll-out in the second half of 2013.164

The Workforce Development Directorate will manage the ‘Defence Mentoring Reference Group’ (DMRG) under the purview of DPG.165 Representatives from each of the Services have been appointed.166

The ‘Women in the ADF’ Report component of the Defence Annual Report 2012-13 notes that:

Defence has recently amalgamated its mentoring programs, which are now accessible through one point of access. This will facilitate future development of metrics for reporting on participat[ion] rates in mentoring, which have not previously been recorded.167

A centralised web portal which contains information on the range of mentoring programs across Defence has been developed.168 The portal will assist in facilitating a more sophisticated matching process between mentors and mentees, who can then determine the nature and extent of the mentoring relationship. The web platform contains information for mentors and mentees; a ‘frequently asked questions’ page with helpful information on the mentoring relationship and the role of each party; and a link to the Mentoring in Defence guidebook.

The development of this portal is part of the ‘Defence Mentoring Implementation Approach’.169 The second phase of the approach was scheduled for July to October 2013, and includes more substantial work to ‘fully realise the strategic intent of a Defence-wide approach to Mentoring.’ This stage includes development of a:

  • mentoring strategy
  • mentoring nomination and matching methodology (with nominations for mentors and mentees received)170
  • plan to implement WINGS and WINTER buddy program across Defence171
  • half day workshop to educate and train potential mentors and mentees
  • co-ordination of two Defence wide pilot mentoring programs, including the Defence People Group Pilot Mentoring Program (late August to December 2013), for which sessions were held on 28 and 29 August 2013.

The Defence Mentoring Program is ‘intended to supplement, not replace’ existing mentoring programs. Each of the Services has also undertaken Service specific implementation actions. The Audit welcomes these developments but reaffirms that the intent of the recommendation is about integrating and rationalising mentoring, networking and sponsorship programs.

The Performance Framework incorporates responsibilities which emanate from the COSC outcome.172

Navy

Navy has advised that the following work has been completed:

  • Third year of the 2013 Navy Women’s Leadership Development Program, which provides development opportunities for selected Navy women
  • The Navy Women’s Mentoring Program, also in its third year, will provide a further 40 women with the opportunity to participate in the ‘My Mentor’ program.

Following the trial of the ‘My Mentor’ pilot program, an evaluation of its effectiveness has been undertaken. This includes a survey of its participants.173

Navy has advised that the following further work is planned:

  • CN has approved a pilot program called ‘Mastering Gender Leadership’ for ten Navy men, to determine whether such a program is suitable
  • Exploring the possibility of practical leadership opportunities for high performing women
  • Navy Women’s Networking Forum with the theme ‘resilience’.174

Army

Army has undertaken the following actions:

  • As part of the (pre-existing) Army Women’s Networking Forum plan for 2013, successful female figures were engaged to speak
  • Preparation of a draft facilitator’s guide for Army Women’s Networking Forum, which contains a change from the current state based approach to a regional based approach. The format could include a guest speaker or a facilitated discussion. Army units located on one base would have monthly meetings to discuss topics, which could address local issues
  • The programs ‘Great Leaders are Made’ and ‘Chief Executive Women’ to provide targeted training for ten women each year who are identified as having potential for assuming senior leadership positions.

Air Force

Air Force has undertaken the following actions:

  • Continuation of WINGs and development of TECHNET (addressed in Recommendation 10)
  • Payment of memberships for female pilots and engineers to the Australian Women’s Pilot Association and the Institute of Engineers Australia (an association for all male and female engineers, with special interest groups designed specifically for female engineers)
  • A range of professional and personal development activities available through Air Force Workforce Diversity website.

Audit findings

Recommendation 12 required COSC to integrate and rationalise the current suite of mentoring, networking and sponsorship programs and facilitate mentoring relationships for any member who so desires. Significant progress has been made in the implementation of this recommendation.

In particular, the following two key implementation actions provide an overarching basis for implementation:

  • Establishment of the Defence Mentoring Reference Group (DMRG) under the guidance of DPG and chaired by the newly established DWD
  • The ‘amalgamation’ of all mentoring programs under a centralised web platform.

The Audit welcomes this Defence wide approach to mentoring as a vital step, though it is advised that rationalising the current suite of mentoring programs would be ‘extremely difficult’ due in part to the informal nature of mentoring throughout the ADF and to a lack of current, centralised information about existing programs.175 The new strategy/framework is intended to complement existing, Service specific, strategies rather than to rationalise them.

Certainly, the new web platform does create a centralised point of access to information on mentoring, and the Audit encourages additional rationalisation of existing programs, where possible, based on best practice principles. In addition, Recommendation 12 required that individual members be able to access a mentor or sponsor from within the Service, another Service or outside the ADF. While the Audit welcomes the portal’s matching process which appears to facilitate matching across Services, there does not yet appear to be any scope to facilitate matching with personnel outside the ADF. The Audit encourages this option to be further explored.

In line with the recommendation, the Audit has been provided with information on the development of Defence wide mentoring and networking initiatives which demonstrate integration. In particular, the development of the Defence People Group Pilot Mentoring Program and the planned expansion of WINGs are illustrative of a more streamlined and coherent approach. The Audit welcomes these developments.

Sponsorship

Recommendation 12 was intended to encompass mentoring, networking and sponsorship. Sponsorship is a more proactive form of support provided by a senior colleague and is an effective method of supporting women in their professional development. While there are some Service specific sponsorship opportunities, sponsorship has largely been left out of the Defence wide approach to mentoring and networking at this stage.

The Agendum paper for the above COSC agreement contains discussion on women’s sponsorship. The document states:

Due to the personnel management differences across each Service, it is recommended that each Service develop their own proposal/scheme for sponsorship of women that should be managed by the personnel management agencies as applicable.176

The Audit has not been provided with further information on sponsorship developments.

Communication and messaging

The success of mentoring initiatives is affected by the communication and messaging which surrounds implementation. Where ADF members perceive that women are experiencing special treatment there is the potential for backlash.

The importance of a positive communications strategy was reinforced during consultations, as the Audit encountered negative perceptions regarding access to female only mentoring or networking programs. This sensitivity to special treatment also acted as a barrier to women accessing these programs. The Audit heard:

...they continually bandy women’s forums and women this and women that, and the guys are like, ‘Well where the hell is our men’s forum?177

I am just sick of hearing about how I have to take all the females in my unit down to a women’s day...The flak that we have to cop from the blokes, it’s just not worth it.178

I’d probably boycott the [women’s networking] meetings myself personally because...we don’t do the same for men and why do we get a specific meeting just for women?179

The Audit urges the DMRG and Services to work to counter the negative perceptions of mentoring through the development of a comprehensive communications strategy.

Conclusion – Principle 3

Each of the Services has undertaken substantial work to increase the number of women enlisting in the ADF. Significant work has also been undertaken to attract women to, and support them in, non-traditional roles. The Audit congratulates the ADF on this work.

Army and Air Force have implemented trials of all the recruitment strategies explicitly contained in Recommendation 8 and have developed strategies beyond those listed. The Audit encourages the Services to continually monitor the success of the initiatives and to broaden their operation where feasible.

Each of the Services has set a target for female representation for 2023. The Audit welcomes this commitment. The establishment of short term goals, such as the Army goal for 12% female representation by the middle of 2014, will help to ensure that the Services are on track for the longer term objective.

The Services have made varying progress in implementing measures to increase the representation of women in non-traditional roles. Navy and Air Force have set female recruitment goals in these areas, and have advised that these positions are to be open exclusively for women (until a certain point certain prior to enlistment to ensure all positions are filled). The Audit welcomes Air Force initiatives in this area, such as the Graduate Pilot Scheme and amendments to IMPS/ROSO.

The Audit encourages the Services to strategies which are delivering results in other Services. Further initiatives, such as appointing high performing women to key roles, could still be addressed to a greater extent by all Services.

The degree to which the removal of gender restrictions in combat categories affects the Services is varied, with the obligation to implement weighing most heavily on Army. As women have not yet entered most recently opened categories, there is significant anticipation regarding integration. The Audit heard of a backlash against removing gender restrictions, as well as perceptions that women were receiving special treatment or lowering standards. Ensuring that the environments into which women will enter are ready, appropriately briefed and trained is critical.

Significant progress has been made in rationalising the current suite of mentoring and networking programs. In particular, the establishment of the Defence Mentoring Reference Group and the amalgamation of all mentoring programs under a centralised web platform are evidence of a commitment to enhancing existing mentoring and networking opportunities in the ADF. There is, however, further scope for the integration of mentoring programs. In addition, mentoring programs should offer members the option of being placed with a mentor external to the ADF, while the Audit also encourages further work with regard to providing sponsorship opportunities.

________________________________________________________________

Chapter 6: Endnotes

  1. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  2. These include:

    Investigate barriers to women’s recruitment and mitigate through targeted HRM and recruiting strategies

    In conjunction with DFR, continually develop innovative recruiting strategies and HRM interventions targeting women’s recruitment to the ADF

    Ensure all recruitment, retention and progression policies factor consideration of male and female work/life cycles, priorities and considerations

    Initiate activities to encourage women to return to Permanent Service after a career break or transferring to the Reserves.

  3. Where the recruitment initiatives are particular to women in non-traditional employment categories, the substance will be addressed at Recommendation 10.
  4. Organisational Development Unit, email to the Audit, 12 December 2013.
  5. Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Navy Audit Summary Report in Response to the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force (Phase 2 Report) 2012, 30 August 2013.
  6. Australian Army, Trial of 12 Months IMPS for Selected ARA Trades, 12 April 2013. The trades included in the trial are:

    ECN 294 – Operator Supply

    ECN 274 – Driver Specialist

    ECN 074 – Operator Administration

    ECN 035 – Operator Movements

    ECN 322 – Preventative Medicine

    ECN 315 – Policeman Military

    ECN 171 – Cargo Specialist

    ECN 084 – Cook

    ECN 099 – Dispatch Air

    ECN 165 – Ground Crewman (mission Support)

    ECN 076 – Clerk Finance

    ECN 029 – Dental Assistant.

  7. Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2012-13, Chapter 6: ‘Women in the ADF’ Report, 2013. At http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/default.asp (viewed 20 November 2013).
  8. Royal Australian Air Force, Extracts/summaries taken from DGPERS-AF brief for CAF for April 2013 COSC, 2013. In contrast to a reduced IMPS scheme, the ‘try before you buy’ scheme delays the date that the IMPS obligation becomes active. In this case, the scheme would involve the IMPS obligation not becoming active until the member graduates from recruit and initial employment training (eg OTS, BFTS and 2FTS for pilots and 1RTU and RAAFSTT for technicians).
  9. Director General Navy People, Information Brief for CN: Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, 25 July 2013.
  10. Director General Navy People, Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, 23 July 2013.
  11. Australian Army, Increasing Female Recruiting – Recruit to Area, CA Directive 07/13, 25 March 2013.
  12. Royal Australian Air Force, Recruit to Area in Support of the Recruitment and Retention of Women to Air Force, Directive by the Chief of Air Force, 15 May 2013.
  13. Email RE: Broderick – Active Rejoin Case Mgt, 13 August 2013, provided to the Audit 30 August 2013.
  14. Australian Army, Army Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  15. Australian Army, Army Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  16. High value target (HVT) incentives include Defence priorities, such as the recruitment of women, Defence Force Recruiting, email to Organisational Development Unit, 22 April 2013, provided to the Audit on 26 August 2013.
  17. Department of Defence, Australian Defence Force Recruiting Services, Contract Change Proposal No. 5, 28 February 2013.
  18. Director General Navy People, Information Brief for CN: Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, 25 July 2013. Navy further advises that targets for female recruiting have been promulgated with particular emphasis on workgroups where women are under-represented and DFR will be augmented with a team of female Navy staff in 2014 (Consolidated Draft AHRC Audit Report Comments by Service/Branch/Institution, provided to the Audit on 28 February 2013).
  19. Director General Personnel – Army, Brief for CA (through DCA and DGPERS-A) on DFR’s Women in Army Campaign, 24 October 2012.
  20. Australian Army, Army Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013; Director General Personnel – Army, Additional Funding for Recruiting Women for the ARA, 14 March 2013; Director General Personnel – Army, Army Recruiting Priorities for FY 13/14,18 March 2013.
  21. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Initiatives to Increase Female Representation in Air Force to Support the Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (Winter) Strategy, 29 May 2013.
  22. Navy advised that the mid career entry scheme was approved by Chief of Navy on 16 August 2013 and that recruiting to this scheme will commence in Q1 2014 (Consolidated Draft AHRC Audit Report Comments by Service/Branch/Institution, provided to the Audit on 28 February 2013).
  23. Meeting 6.
  24. Officer-in-Charge Army Adventure Camp, Post Activity Report, Army Adventure Camp 29 Apr-3 May 2013, 14 June 2013.
  25. Australian Army, Army Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013; Officer-in-Charge Army Adventure Camp, Post Activity Report, Army Adventure Camp 29 Apr-3 May 2013, 14 June 2013.
  26. Chief of Army, Women in the Army Recruit When Ready and Army Pre-Conditioning Course, CA Directive 25/13, 17 June 2013.
  27. Chief of Army, Women in the Army Recruit When Ready and Army Pre-Conditioning Course, CA Directive 25/13, 17 June 2013.
  28. Director General Personnel – Air Force, ADF Pilot Test Waiver Trial for Female Candidates (Aug – Dec 13), 1 August 2013; Director General Personnel – Air Force, Initiatives to Increase Female Representation in Air Force to Support the Women in NonTraditional Employment Roles (Winter) Strategy, 29 May 2013.
  29. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Initiatives to Increase Female Representation in Air Force to Support the Women in NonTraditional Employment Roles (Winter) Strategy, 29 May 2013.
  30. Interview 112. The Defence Annual Report 2012/13 states that as at 30 June 2013 the representation of women in Army was 11% (Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2012-13, Chapter 6: ‘Women in the ADF’ Report, 2013. At http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/default.asp (viewed 20 November 2013)). Documentation provided by Army indicates that the representation may be 11.1% or 11.2%.
  31. Email to the Audit, 4 December 2013.
  32. Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2012-13, Chapter 6: ‘Women in the ADF’ Report, 2013. At http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/default.asp (viewed 27 November 2013).
  33. Director General Navy People, Information Brief for CN: Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, 25 July 2013.
  34. Consolidated Draft AHRC Audit Report Comments by Service/Branch/Institution, provided to the Audit on 28 February 2013.
  35. RAN Officers’ Career Management Manual, extract provided to the Audit in S Whittaker, RE: Broderick – Active Rejoin Case Mgt, email to J Macklin, 13 August 2013. Navy has a pre-existing ‘try before you buy’ model for future officers in which they are provided with the opportunity to experience Navy life (NOYO). Navy considers that the current model is sufficient (NOYO provides ‘sufficient knowledge and experience to make a well-reasoned judgment about their Primary Qualification (PQ) and whether to pursue a career in the Royal Australian Navy).
  36. For example, in Army the RTA scheme only came into effect on 25 March 2013.
  37. Email RE: Broderick – Active Rejoin Case Mgt, 13 August 2013, provided to the Audit 30 August 2013.
  38. Australian Army, Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  39. Focus group 18.
  40. Navy has developed the MCE scheme however the Audit has not received confirmation that the scheme has been endorsed by CN yet. Further, the scheme is gender neutral and therefore while important for workforce capability issues does not address the intent of the recommendation. The scheme may address the intent if a female focus was included.
  41. Meeting 6.
  42. Meeting 6.
  43. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Directive by the Director General Personnel – Air Force, Initiatives for the Recruitment and Retention of Women, Policy Directive 01/2013, 17 June 2013.
  44. Focus group 21.
  45. Focus group 17.
  46. Focus group 36.
  47. Focus group 16.
  48. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  49. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  50. Defence People Group, Performance Framework for Gender Inclusion in the Australian Defence Force, October 2013, provided to the Audit by ODU, 29 October 2013. In particular, the Performance Framework assigns responsibility to Service Chiefs and Senior Leaders to communicate the need for targets, the importance of targets to future capability, and that the imposition of targets does not undermine merit.
  51. Director General Navy People, Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, August 2013.
  52. Director General Navy People, Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, August 2013.
  53. Director General Navy People, Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, August 2013.
  54. Chief of Army, Enhancing Capability through Gender Diversity, CA Directive 16/12, 20 August 2013; Australian Army, Army Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  55. Office of the Chief of Army, Army Gender Diversity Plans, Minute to CDF, 6 August 2013; Australian Army, Army Personnel Update – ‘Supporting Our People’, Edition 02, 2013. The intended retention strategy has a broad focus, such as to support families, and includes initiatives such as:

    doubling carer’s leave to 10 days per annum from late 2012

    allowing members to purchase leave or share leave between couples

    investigation into child care options

    consideration of additional bedroom entitlement where live in carer required

    reviewing career management with a view to remove barriers.

    Personnel Branch has also conducted two Women’s Workshops in 2012 to engage with serving women to help understand their needs.

  56. Office of the Chief of Army, Army Gender Diversity Plans, Minute to CDF, 6 August 2013.
  57. Australian Army, Army Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013. Army further advise that as at February 2014 the percentage has increased to 11.5% (Consolidated Draft AHRC Audit Report Comments by Service/Branch/Institution, provided to the Audit on 28 February 2013).
  58. Royal Australian Air Force, Audit Evidence: Recommendation 9, 2013.
  59. Royal Australian Air Force, Extracts/summaries taken from DGPERS-AF brief for CAF for April 2013 COSC, 2013. Air Force has identified that attaining the target representation requires management of both recruitment and retention. Air Force has indicated that 0.3% of the target will be achieved through recruitment and the remaining 0.2% will be targeted through influencing separation behaviour. In light of Air Force analysis of female separation rates which indicates that it has increased from 7% to 8% over the last two years, Air Force needs to ensure that this trend is reversed.
  60. Royal Australian Air Force, Audit Evidence: Recommendation 9, 2013.
  61. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  62. Army has received advice confirming the legality of such targets and Navy is still undergoing this process.
  63. This is in addition to the preliminary estimate of how many additional women the Services would need to grow by per year contained in the COSC outcomes.
  64. Australian Army, Army Personnel Update – ‘Supporting Our People’, Edition 02, 2013.
  65. Chief of Army, Enhancing Capability through Gender Diversity, CA Directive 16/12, 20 August 2013.
  66. Meeting 9.
  67. Focus group 2.
  68. Focus group 4.
  69. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  70. The Performance Framework contains the following responsibilities relevant to the implementation of Recommendation 10:

    Service Chiefs are to communicate the need for women’s participation in non-traditional employment (NTE) areas, encourage and fund development of targeted strategies to increase such participation, and approve targets

    Senior Leaders are to ensure that women in NTE areas are adequately supported by Commanders, Directors and Supervisors

    DG-PERS are to set targets, appoint high-performing women to key roles in NTE workplaces to provide role modelling, mentoring and support. DG-PERS are to monitor retention and progression of women in these areas, addressing career barriers and challenges through targeted initiatives, implement support strategies for women, investigate barriers to recruitment and mitigate through targeted initiatives

    Commands/Directors are to investigate barriers and challenges facing women and work to mitigate them, implement cultural awareness programs to ensure all personnel are aware of barriers and challenges, ensure women are well supported and have access to networks, mentors and role models, and encourage and support women’s participation in mentoring and networking events.

    These responsibilities continue to include DFR, Workplace managers, training establishments and individuals.

  71. This was required by Recommendation 3 of the ADF Review. See Australian Human Rights Commission, Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force: Phase 2 Report (2012).
  72. Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2012-13, Chapter 6: ‘Women in the ADF’ Report, 2013. At http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/default.asp (viewed 20 November 2013).
  73. Director General Navy People, Navy Recruitment of Women Strategy (NROWS) – Female Recruiting Goals FY 2013/14, August 2013.
  74. These categories include: MT, MTSM, ET, ETSM, BM, ATV, ATA, EWSM, AWA, CSOMW. Recruitment goals have also been set for categories with higher representations of women.
  75. These PQs include: ME/MESM, WE/WESM, P, AVWO, AE, WEA. As officer selection is undertaken by NPCMA, ‘DFR has been requested to facilitate achievement of the female officer goals by forwarding increased numbers of suitable female officer candidates for consideration at an Officer Selection Board.’
  76. Organisational Development Unit, email to the Audit, 12 December 2013. The Audit is further advised that Chief of Navy has approved a reduced IMPS (two years) to be applied to women entering the above categories (Consolidated Draft AHRC Audit Report Comments by Service/Branch/Institution, provided to the Audit on 28 February 2013).
  77. Australian Army, Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  78. Royal Australian Air Force, Female participation by mustering – Airmen (non-traditional roles only shown), 27 June 2013; Royal Australian Air Force, Female participation by specialisation – Officers (non-traditional roles only shown), 27 June 2013.
  79. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Air Force Female Recruiting Targets – FY 13/14, Minute, 8 May 2013.
  80. Director General Personnel – Air Force, ADF Pilot Test Waiver Trial for Female Candidates (Aug – Dec 13), Minute, 1 August 2013.
  81. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Brief for CAF: Amendment to Determinations Governing ROSO, IMPS and the Structure of Air Force, 15 June 2013.
  82. Director General Personnel – Air Force, ADF Pilot Test Waiver Trial for Female Candidates (Aug – Dec 13), Minute, 1 August 2013.
  83. The Priority Workforce List and Air Force Female Recruiting targets FY 13/14 form the basis for the roles identified in the campaign. The list contains many of the roles contained in the recommendation, such as Pilot, Air Combat Officer and Aerospace Engineer Officer.
  84. Email correspondence provided to the Audit indicates the following frequency and attendance at TECHNET: WLM – held every six weeks, seven per session, RIC – held every two months, ten per session, EDN – held every two months, five per session. Similarly, WINGs is held at approximately 12 locations, occurring anywhere from monthly to quarterly depending on the location, with attendance from five to 30 per session.
  85. Directorate of Workforce Diversity – Royal Australian Air Force, Women’s Forum, 19 July 2013.
  86. Women’s Integrated Network Group, TECHNET Newsletter, Issue 2, March 13.
  87. Royal Australian Air Force, Audit Evidence Pack: Evidence Cover Sheet – Recommendation 10 Supplementary Information. Air Force has also undertaken actions in addition to those listed. These include:

    Engagement of organisational psychologist to address different learning styles of men and women

    Appointment of female engineers to key overseas training and exchange positions at a higher rate than experienced previously

    Publicising of women in Air Force, particularly for non-traditional roles. For example, proposal to have female representation on the Roulettes team.

  88. Royal Australian Air Force, Audit Evidence Pack: Evidence Cover Sheet – Recommendation 10 Supplementary Information.
  89. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Temporary Special Measures for the Personnel Management of Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles, DGPERS-AF Policy Directive 03/2012, 11 October 2012; Directorate of Workforce Diversity – Royal Australian Air Force, Project WINTER, Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER), excerpt from intranet webpage.
  90. The Audit notes that the agreement temporarily excludes categories that have recently been the subject of the removal of gender restrictions. The recommendation is intended to include these categories however the Audit recognises that a temporary exclusion of these categories is understandable. COSC must ensure that these categories are not excluded permanently.
  91. Meeting 5.
  92. Focus group 21.
  93. Focus group 11.
  94. Focus group 11.
  95. Focus group 11.
  96. It is expected from background research conducted by Air Force that this scheme will result in graduating more women from 2FTS with ‘distinction’ results, which has historically been suitable for fast jet training. Women who are recruited through this scheme will have their university debt paid by Air Force on successful graduation from 2FTS. All candidates will be appointed a mentor to assist them at each stage of the process. Air Force has already begun working with Griffith University to facilitate this scheme. The universities which offer aviation degrees have been listed and interaction with these institutions is expected in the future.
  97. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Decision Brief for CAF – Air Force Women Pilot Recruitment Strategy – Graduate Pilot Scheme (GPS), 11 April 2012; Royal Australian Air Force, Graduate Pilot Scheme Factsheet.
  98. Meeting 20.
  99. Meeting 5.
  100. The development of marketing strategies to attract women generally is contained in Recommendation 8, with the focus in this section on marketing non-traditional roles for women.
  101. The concept is based on research undertaken as part of the campaign, which demonstrated that respondents retained messages of women being able to have rewarding hands-on technical roles, to be able to retain their femininity and individuality, work flexibly and be treated equally. Respondents felt positively about seeing women perform jobs that were traditionally only for men. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Brief for CAF: Defence Force Recruiting Air Force Marketing Campaign Women in the Air Force – ‘Not What You Expect’ General Entry (GE) Television Commercial (TVC), 29 July 2013.
  102. Directorate of Workforce Diversity – Royal Australian Air Force, WINGs (TECHNET), excerpt from intranet webpage, 19 July 2013.
  103. Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Solo: The Handbook for Flying Females.
  104. Meeting 20.
  105. Interview 119.
  106. Chief of Air Force, CAF Update: New Horizons in 2013, 6 December 2013.
  107. Chief of Air Force, CAF Update: New Horizons in 2013, 6 December 2013.
  108. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  109. Australian Defence Force, Risk Log: ADF Implementation Plan – Removal of Gender Restrictions on ADF Combat Role Employment Categories.
  110. All combat roles have been opened to current serving female members with the exception of Special Forces, which will be available once the Physical Employment Standards are established in 2013. Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2012-13, Chapter 6: ‘Women in the ADF’ Report, 2013. At http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/default.asp (viewed 29 November 2013).
  111. Australian Army, Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013. By the commencement of Phase 4, some amendments to DFR processes may be required. For example, target frameworks will need to be amended to enable women to access all targets in previously restricted categories. This is addressed in the Army implementation plan.
  112. Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Navy Audit Summary Report in Response to the Review into the Treatment of Women inthe Australian Defence Force (Phase 2 Report) 2012, 30 August 2013.
  113. Deputy Chief of Navy, Navy Implementation Plan for Removal of Gender Restrictions on Combat Role Employment Categories, Minute, Annex A, 31 October 2011.
  114. Australian Army, Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  115. Director General Personnel – Army, Guidance for the Management of [...], Minute, 24 May 2012; Director General Personnel – Army, Minute, Guidance on the Management of [...], August 2013.
  116. Director General Personnel – Army, Guidance for the Management of [...] Minute, 24 May 2012; Chief of Army, Army Implementation Plan for the Removal of Gender Restrictions, 23 July 2012.
  117. Australian Army, Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013; Directorate of Workforce Strategy – Army, Request for Funding Support to Upgrade Facilities Associated with Removing Gender Restrictions, 23 August 2013. The facilities outlined in the request for funding include: locks to secure top floor for women (particular minors), upgrading male toilets to unisex facility, additional shower, upgrade for mixed gender accommodation, and other adjustments to female shower/toilet facilities.
  118. Directorate of Workforce Strategy – Army, Women in combat, excerpt from intranet webpage.
  119. Chief of Air Force, Removal of Combat Restrictions from Air Force Employment Groups, Directive, 17 September 2013. This includes the Airfield Defence Guard (ADG), Ground Defence Officer (GDREF), Combat Controllers (CC) and some tasks associated with Security Police Military Working Dog Handlers (MWDH).
  120. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Decision Brief for CAF: Implement Plan for the Removal of Gender Restrictions from all Air Force Employment Roles, August 2011, Enclosure 1.
  121. Royal Australian Air Force, Audit Evidence: Recommendation 11, 2013.
  122. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Decision Brief for CAF: Implement Plan for the Removal of Gender Restrictions from all Air Force Employment Roles, August 2011, Enclosure 1.
  123. Director General Personnel – Air Force, Decision Brief for CAF: Implement Plan for the Removal of Gender Restrictions from all Air Force Employment Roles, August 2011, Enclosure 1.
  124. Focus group 12.
  125. Focus group 12.
  126. Focus group 12.
  127. Focus group 12.
  128. Australian Army, Response to 21 Recommendations of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Phase 2 Report 2012, Executive Overview, 2013.
  129. Interview 103.
  130. Royal Australian Navy Diving School
  131. Focus group 12.
  132. Focus group 12.
  133. Focus group 12.
  134. Focus group 12.
  135. Chief of Army, Army Implementation Plan for the Removal of Gender Restrictions, 23 July 2012.
  136. Email correspondence, 11 April 2013, Removal of Gender Restriction Progress Report paper, provided to the Audit on 30 August, including Bi-annual progress reporting for the Removal of Gender Restrictions Implementation Plan May/June 13.
  137. Interview 113.
  138. Interview 33.
  139. Focus group 4.
  140. Interview 16.
  141. Interview 103.
  142. Interview 103.
  143. Interview 103.
  144. Interview 52.
  145. Deputy Chief of Navy, Navy Implementation Plan for Removal of Gender Restrictions on Combat Role Employment Categories, Minute, Annex A, 31 October 2011.
  146. Interview 103.
  147. Interview 103.
  148. Email correspondence on Removal of gender restrictions for Mine Clearance Divers/Clearance Divers (MCDO/CD) – cultural change discussions, 25 March 2013, provided to the Audit 30 August 2013.
  149. Interview 20.
  150. Focus group 12.
  151. Focus group 12.
  152. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum Paper 69 of 13: Framework for Gender Inclusion in the Australian Defence Force – Implementing Recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – Phase 2 Report, 2012, 22 July 2013, provided to the Audit by ODU, 29 October 2013.
  153. Interview 34.
  154. Interview 52.
  155. Interview 18.
  156. Interview 52.
  157. Interview 37.
  158. Focus group 12R.
  159. Deputy Chief of Navy, Navy Implementation Plan for Removal of Gender Restrictions on Combat Role Employment Categories, Minute, Annex A, 31 October 2011.
  160. Meeting 25.
  161. Meeting 9.
  162. Focus group 12R.
  163. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  164. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum Paper 69 of 13: Framework for Gender Inclusion in the Australian Defence Force – Implementing Recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – Phase 2 Report, 2012, 22 July 2013, Attachment D, provided to the Audit by ODU, 29 October 2013.
  165. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013; Defence People Group, Defence Mentoring Reference Group – Guiding Principles. The objectives of the group are to:

    Provide strategic oversight of mentoring programs across Defence

    Develop an overarching mentoring strategy, framework and implementation approach for Defence-wide application and use

    Initiate, co-ordinate and evaluate a range of mentoring, networking and sponsorship programs

    Create and maintain a central web portal to promote the range of mentoring programs across Defence.

  166. Defence People Group, Defence Mentoring Reference Group – Guiding Principles.
  167. Department of Defence, Defence Annual Report 2012-13, Chapter 6: ‘Women in the ADF’ Report, 2013, p 14. At http://www.defence.gov.au/AnnualReports/12-13/default.asp (viewed 29 November 2013).
  168. Department of Defence, Defence People Group, Defence Mentoring Reference Group – Guiding Principles, Defence People Group; Defence People Group, Mentoring in Defence webpage, 23 August 2013.
  169. The ‘Defence Mentoring Implementation Approach’ contains two phases. The first phase involves short term tasks that were to be planned or completed by 30 June 2013. This includes the consolidation of existing mentoring materials, development of a visible mentoring tab and proposed mentoring ‘webinar’ to support the web launch.
  170. The website is intended to facilitate mentor and mentee matching. The website would contain a database containing information (such as background, experience etc) on members willing to perform mentoring roles, and personnel seeking a mentor could either approach or be matched with these members. DPG would support the program by providing education on mentoring, including development of packages or guides on mentoring.
  171. The initiative involves adopting the existing Air Force WINGs model to create a Defence wide program. There will be DPG strategic oversight however each Service will be responsible for coordinating the program for their bases.
  172. For example, these include (amongst other accountabilities and responsibilities):

    Communicate the importance of networking, sponsorship, talent management, mentoring and support for all personnel

    Encourage engagement from all leaders across the organisation to directly support programs for networking, mentoring, talent management and support

    Actively and visibly mentor and sponsor personnel within your organisation

    Attend networking events to demonstrate support

    Develop and deliver programs for mentoring, networking, sponsorship, talent management, and support in consultation with DWD in DPG

    Ensure staff feel supported by their chain of command when attending networking/mentoring events

    Deliver framework and tools for ‘best practice’ mentoring, networking and support.

  173. Emberin, My Mentor Pilot Evaluation Report: Program Completion Survey Results for the Royal Australian Navy, 6 December 2012.
  174. Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Navy Audit Summary Report in Response to the Review into the Treatment of Women inthe Australian Defence Force (Phase 2 Report) 2012, 30 August 2013.
  175. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  176. Chiefs of Service Committee, Agendum 50 of 13 – Strategies for implementing recommendations from the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force – (Broderick) Phase 2 Report, 2012, 18 April 2013.
  177. Focus group 19.
  178. Focus group 3.
  179. Focus group 21.