Defence under fire – again – for sexist recruitment ads

Defence is under fire – again – for blatant sexism in recruitment advertising, nominating “Female Opportunity” as a precondition of application.

CAPTION: Composite SEEK/DFR recruitment ad for Administration Assistant (Female). Digitally combined by CONTACT.

I believe reports Army is discriminating against male recruitment
How gender bias in recruiting can hurt an individual (male)

Singling out one ad on for Administration Assistant, Labor MP Jayne Stinson questioned if the Army was trying to point out that they considered the role was ‘women’s work’.

“I’ve read right through this ad and can’t understand why this is specifically pegged as a ‘female opportunity’,” Miss Stinson said on her Facebook page last weekend.

“It doesn’t appear that you need to be female to do this role.

“Can men not do admin in the Army?

“Does the Army need to point out what they consider ‘women’s work’?

“Are Army jobs not tagged as being for females not open to women?

“Are other jobs tagged as ‘male opportunity’?”

While Miss Stinson also asked, “Hey Australian Army can you shed any light on this?” she has also turned off the ability to comment on the post after receiving much largely supportive feedback, mostly in irate tones.

As pointed out to CONTACT fans in the past, this type of gender-based discriminatory advertising is actually rife in Defence as they attempt to achieve ambitious artificial female-recruitment quotas.

Then Chief of Army (now Chief of Defence Force) Lieutenant General Angus Campbell told a Senate Estimates hearing in 2018 that (and I paraphrase), ‘space at the head of the queue for all employment categories is held open specifically for women and if those spaces are not filled by women within six weeks of recruitment, only then will they be opened to men’.

While this story is about office work, General Campbell was actually mainly referring to infantry and other arms-corps positions in his statement to Senate Estimates.

Defence is on a mission to achieve a 15%-female workforce by 2023, with a long-term target of 25% (Women in the ADF Report 2015/16)


Other jobs currently advertised on SEEK as specifically ‘female only’

Artillery Operator (Entry-Level) (Female Opportunity) Army
Communication and Information Systems Operator (Female Opportunity) Navy
Driver (Female) Army
Cryptologic Linguist (Full Training Provided) (Female Opportunity) Navy
AIA Signals Intelligence (Female Opportunity) RAAF
Maritime Logistics Officer (Entry Level) (Female Opportunity) Navy
Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer (Full Training Provided) (Female Opportunity) Navy
Geospatial Intelligence Analyst (Female Opportunity) RAAF









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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

4 thoughts on “Defence under fire – again – for sexist recruitment ads

  • 25/03/2020 at 8:19 pm

    It’s all BS. The stats from multiple surveys indicate that a higher percentage of females within society than males don’t want a military career. We shouldn’t be reserving roles or giving specialized treatment to any particular group within society. It should absolutely be ‘the best person for the job’. When I joined the queensland fire service a couple of years back, the paperwork asked you to check a box if you identified yourself as part of a minority group. Female was an option. Go figure! Since when was being a female a minority? I believe that worldwide it is pretty close to 50% men and 50% women. When is it all going to end?

  • 23/03/2020 at 12:22 pm

    Fair dinkum, geez there’s some sooks about. So the Army is trying to raise it’s number of female recruits, so what. We hear it even in the corridors of power how women aren’t represented enough, it doesn’t worry me, as long as the best person for the job gets it. If you are a bloke, instead of whinging about it, back yourself and apply for the job anyway. If you’re good enough you’ll get a crack. If you’re all offended by these ads, then maybe you’re not cut out for our forces anyway.

    • 23/03/2020 at 1:58 pm

      Nice idea in theory Adam. But when Angus Campbell says ‘space at the head of the queue for all employment categories is held open specifically for women and if those spaces are not filled by women within six weeks of recruitment, only then will they be opened to men’ – then it’s obvious that “the best person for the job” isn’t always getting it. Have a read of this story as one example of a (better?) male candidate not getting the job because women (of lesser talent?) applied –

  • 12/03/2020 at 6:58 am

    No different from advertising for Aboriginal / Islander…..


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