Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Top female general in Canadian Forces blasts CDF for failed recruitment

SUMMARY: Lieutenant-General Christine Whitecross is the Canadian Forces top female general and chief of military personnel, who claims that recruiting more women will be a “difficult road” in light of the perceived military culture and sexual misconduct. The current target for female representation in CAF is 25%. Documents accessed earlier in 2015 revealed that CAF were pushing to cut the target for women from 25.1 per cent to 17.6 per cent. It also wanted to lower the targets for visible minorities from 11.7 per cent to 8.2 per cent, and for indigenous people from 3.3 per cent to 2.6 per cent. Christine Leuprecht, a professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada, is critical of Canada’s evidently failed recruitment strategies over the last 25 years, saying “does this look like an organisation that’s really trying hard to recruit women? I’d say not.” Retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps has claimed that an “undeniable link” exists between low representation of women in leadership, low recruitment rates and prevalence of sexual misconduct. Leuprecht has called for a completely new recruitment strategy, aimed at women who are not connected or familiar to the Armed Forces in any way. Deschamps has suggested using Australia as a model to implement greater female leadership as a first step.

SOURCE: John Paul Tasker, July 23 2015, ‘Lt. Gen. Christine Whitecross, top female general, says recruiting women a ‘difficult road,’

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