Update: Women in the Air Corps, 26th June 2015

26th June 2015 - Bernard Durkan TD

QUESTION NO:   132  
* To ask the Minister for Defence the number of women currently serving in the Air Corps; the extent to which the numbers might be set to increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  




Ref No: 25606/15 Proof: 145


    Minister for Defence (Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D.):  

As of 31   st   May, 2015, there are       32 whole time equivalent posts filled by women serving in the Air Corps. The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities.
A number of specific initiatives have been implemented to increase female participation in the Defence Forces including:

    ·     The introduction of best practices in recruitment, such as the adjustment of physical standards for female applicants;  
    ·     Special consideration is paid to women as a target group for recruitment;  
    ·     A balanced composition between men and women on recruitment and selection boards;  
    ·     All promotions and career courses are open to both sexes on merit and;  
    ·     A Gender Advisor has been appointed to promote gender equality policies and training within the Defence Forces.

I believe that a key issue in recruiting and retaining female personnel going forward lies in societal perception and attitudes to female soldiers and officers. I am hopeful that through continued engagement and communication, this perception will change over time.  


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