Canadians share equality experiences
14 May 2012
A Canadian military delegation invited to Australia by the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, is sharing Canada’s experience of integrating women into combat roles.
The Canadian team is touring major military bases from Melbourne to Townsville from 7-18 May.
They will meet with staff at combat training centres including Singleton and Puckapunyal.
The visit will enable Australian Defence personnel and the Canadian delegation to discuss a shared commitment to gender equality and inclusion across the workforce.
The delegation includes Colonel Jennie Carignan, Captain Géneviève Bertrand, Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Stapleford and military sociologist Ms Karen Davis.
Ms Davis said that when the Canadian Forces introduced women into combat roles in 1987 the smoothest transitions were at units with commanders that fully supported the new role of women.
“It was a challenge to recruit women into combat arms,” she said. “But those they did recruit and the women today are highly capable soldiers.”
Today, women form 4.2 per cent of officer positions with the Canadian combat arms while 1.5 per cent of females serve as other ranks.