I believe reports Army is discriminating against male recruitment

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More troubling reporting in mainstream media today suggests that the Australian Army has instructed recruiters to stop recruiting males and only recruit females for certain jobs including front-line Arms-Corps positions.

CONTACT is reticent to fan the flames on this story – or to believe the hyped-up presentation of ‘facts’ – especially given the reputation of the outlets regurgitating the ‘news’ and of the quoted initial source.

However, the basis of the report doesn’t really surprise, and ignoring the issue isn’t helpful.

The fact is, Infantry is over subscribed – that is there are more Infantry soldiers employed than there are positions allocated  – and, we’ve heard for years that ADF Recruiting gets far more applications every year than they have positions to fill – and they have a backlog of up to 1500 suitable candidates on a waiting list for Infantry entry alone.

It’s also a fact that the Army has a target for increasing the participation of women to 15% by 2023, with a long-term target of 25% (Women in the ADF Report 2015/16).

So, if you have a quota to meet and you have more blokes applying than you have positions for them to fill, then it isn’t completely surprising that any female who puts her hand up for Infantry or Artillery or Armoured Corps will be boosted to the head of the waiting list.

But, while CONTACT has no objection whatsoever to females doing any job in the military if they are capable, we do worry about and object to ‘positive discrimination’ in order to enforce an artificial quota, on principle.

When you set yourself a quota for anything you simply have to apply discriminatory practices to achieve that goal if it isn’t likely to happen naturally.

If you simply remove the barriers to females serving in Infantry, for example, and you do nothing to either discourage or encourage females to apply, we think it is a safe bet that the ratio of males to females in Infantry would be something around 95% male to 5% female.

Therefore, setting a quota and a time target to substantially boost females in Infantry (which only opened its doors to females last year and currently has fewer than 10 female members), you simply have to employ extraordinary measures, such as multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns – and, most likely, positive bias or discrimination in favour of females over males in the recruiting process where there are already too many adequately qualified males applying.

So, for these reasons, we think today’s reporting is probably, and sadly, pretty close to the truth – or at least credibly pointing towards a real issue.

That said, I want to make it abundantly clear, neither I nor CONTACT objects in any way to females serving in any Army role if they are capable – in fact, we completely support it. We are only objecting, in this instance, to discrimination.

 

BTW – CONTACT magazine does not discriminate for or against male or female in any way shape or form. We report stories as we find them and we accept free subscriptions from absolutely anyone.

Yet, applying zero gender bias to our reporting or our recruiting, CONTACT’s naturally and voluntarily acquired audience is 95% male – and that’s a natural, unaided and unbiased reflection of interest in the subject, built up over 14 years.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: A 3 Brigade live-fire attack at High Range Training Area featuring 1RAR. There are currently five female riflemen and two female platoon commanders serving in 1RAR and, while they were involved in this attack, they are not necessarily in this photo. More detail in the next issue of CONTACT magazine, out 1 September.

 

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sir_jeffrey_blog_logoAnother comment from resident crankyman Sir Jeffrey Armiger – a retired Public Servant with a pet hate for BE – bovine excrement.
Sir Jeffrey Armiger is dedicated to the eradication of BE.
Follow Sir Jeffrey on Facebook here.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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