Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

Women in the Armed Forces watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hiya....

    I was thinking of joining one of the Armed Forces as an aeronautical or mechanical engineer (RAF or RE) when I leave university (I'm currently studying for my GCSEs).

    This will sound like a silly question buuuut....would you say there is a lot of sexism/negative behaviour towards women? Are there some forces in particular (if any) that are worse than others? I was looking for information about jobs in the RAF or RE and stumbled upon some interesting articles e.g. some women in the forces saying that they have experienced extremely little/no sexism whatsoever and another article with some worrying statistics about harassment etc.

    I can deal with people saying I'm weak etc for being a woman (I am a strong-minded/confident person) but I'm not really prepared to be harassed or whatever.

    Am I being silly and believing whatever I read?

    Thanks for humouring me
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    Hi wannabe, first of all, very best of luck with your plans - you sound pretty switched on and I'm sure you'd do well in an engineering field; more importantly, there is a strong desire to attract women into such roles in both the military and civvy street, so, assuming you have the required skills, you'd be encouraged throughout your career.

    Your concerns are completely understandable, based on stories of sexism/harassment both historically and more recently, so no humouring is required.

    What I can tell you, based on over 30 years RAF experience, is that women were treated with utmost respect in whatever role they carried out - latterly, increasing numbers of female aircrew were fully integrated and treated as equals on my multi crew jet Sqn. The only problems I ever saw related to a very few individuals who went out of their way to look for sexist or inappropriate behaviour, made notes of all perceived harassment and failed to blend into their crews, which was essentially what basic military training is designed to achieve - mutual trust and teamwork!

    That's not to say that there's no banter - the military thrives on a brilliant sense of humour (think Blackadder), but the important point to make is that everyone is well aware of where the boundary between banter and harassment lies. The military have to complete Equality and Diversity training, both in basic training and with annual refreshers. There are E&D champions on every unit and very robust procedures in place for any problems which may arise. Whatever may have happened in the past, the modern UK Armed Forces have a different mindset.

    I'm now retired from the RAF. However, in a second career, I've experienced significantly more sexist and discriminatory behaviour in civvy street, than I ever did in the military. Regrettably, that behaviour has almost exclusively come from female managers and co workers - turning a perceived stereotypical male behaviour on its head!

    Am I bothered? Nah. But if I wanted to, I could invoke the E&D joker card most days and should I feel so minded, would have a good case under the Equalities Act 2010 (which I had to bone up on for the apparently mandatory E&D questions at job interviews).

    Hope that helps to allay your fears, but if you want to discuss 'off table', am happy to take any PMs.

    Ikky
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you!!

    You answered all of my questions and put my mind at rest.

    Cheers mate
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TSRwannabe)
    Hiya....

    I was thinking of joining one of the Armed Forces as an aeronautical or mechanical engineer (RAF or RE) when I leave university (I'm currently studying for my GCSEs).

    This will sound like a silly question buuuut....would you say there is a lot of sexism/negative behaviour towards women? Are there some forces in particular (if any) that are worse than others? I was looking for information about jobs in the RAF or RE and stumbled upon some interesting articles e.g. some women in the forces saying that they have experienced extremely little/no sexism whatsoever and another article with some worrying statistics about harassment etc.

    I can deal with people saying I'm weak etc for being a woman (I am a strong-minded/confident person) but I'm not really prepared to be harassed or whatever.

    Am I being silly and believing whatever I read?

    Thanks for humouring me
    I'm a female commissioned officer in the RAF and I can honestly say, that although yes there is sexist banter etc, I give as good as I get, and that's because I can take it and I know it's in good humour. I have never been harassed for who I am or what I do, I've only ever been treated with mutual respect by my male subordinates and superiors.

    One thing I've found, you're treated how you treat others in the military, I love my job, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere doing anything else.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources

Articles:

Guide to the armed forcesGuide to the Royal Air ForceA job in the Army

Featured recruiter profiles:

Army logo

The Army is recruiting now

"With hundreds of roles available, there’s more than one way to be the best."

Quick Link:

Unanswered Armed Forces Threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.