Chief of Navy - Gender Breakdown for MH60R training
15 September 2012
On 15 September 2012 the Daily Telegraph published an article entitled “Chopper’s Squad a Boys Club”. The journalist states that “the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm which runs the helicopter fleet is about 20 per cent female.” and that the number of women amongst the Navy personnel being sent to America for MH60R helicopter training does not reflect this figure. The articles basic premise is inaccurate.
The article points out 1 in 20 aircrew (5%), 1 in 4 Aviation Engineering Officers (25%) and 4 in 32 maintenance staff (12.5%) are females who will be attending the training. These are above the current overall percentage of women serving in the various components of the Fleet Air Arm. Current participation of women in the Fleet Air Arm are Aircrew 4.9%; Aviation Engineering Officers 9.3%; and Aviation Maintenance personnel 7%.
Navy has the largest participation rate of women in the Australian Defence Force at around 19% across the force, Navy women have served in combat roles for over 20 years (including flying combat missions in Helmand province in Afghanistan) and regularly command combat ships. I am very proud of the efforts and achievements of our women.
Navy will continue to focus its recruiting efforts on those areas of its workforce where participation of women is under-represented, but, to imply that the selection for the MH60R training in America was discriminatory is simply at odds with the facts.
Chief of Navy