East Anglia RFCA is supporting International Women’s Day

International Women's Day 2024

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

Marked annually on March 8th, IWD is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • educate and awareness raise for women’s equality
  • call for positive change advancing women
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

The IWD 2024 campaign theme is Inspire Inclusion.

When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world.
And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.
The #InspireInclusion campaign aims to forge a more inclusive world for women.

In our RFCA region, 36% of the Army Cadet Force is female.

In East Anglia, the Army Cadet Force is organised into counties: Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk .
Of the 4,100 Army Cadets in our region, 38% are female. There are 790 adult volunteers who train the cadets, and 28% of these are female.
For comparison, female representation in the Reserve Forces is 15.6% and 11.4% of Regular Forces are female. And 18% of all female reservists are Officers.

The new Deputy Colonel Cadets for East Anglia, previously Deputy Commandant for Essex ACF, Kristina Carrington, is one such volunteer. She said: “There are just as many opportunities for women as there are for men in the ACF. This is a fantastic organisation to be involved with because boys and girls are having the same cadet experience of fun, friendship and adventure. These young people can see the leaders of the cadet organisation are men and women working in equal measure to deliver that cadet experience for them.”

East Anglia RFCA delivers ACF Administration services to the British Army. Our team of permanent support staff maintain and run the Army Cadet Force county HQs, provide administration of the membership of cadets and the adults who train them, provide logistics of equipment and fleet and clerical support to enable the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAV) to deliver cadet training.

East Anglia RFCA’s Chief Executive reflects on IWD 2024

The Chief Executive of East Anglia RFCA, Colonel Leona Barr-Jones is the first and only female Chief Executive of any RFCA. As a long-serving veteran, accomplished entrepreneur, a civic-minded volunteer, and an authentic and inclusive leader, Col Barr-Jones is an inspiring role model for women.

How will you/how does our organisation #InspireInclusion?

“We’re an inclusive organisation and we will continue to strive to ensure that at EA RFCA, we best represent the society that we serve. This is an environment which allows everyone to flourish and I offer , support and guidance.”

You’re the first female CE in the RFCAs. How will you call out gendered actions or assumptions?

The most common assumption in my experience is when someone assumes that your male colleague is the boss. And as a female leader, it’s important to be a role model for other aspiring female leaders and to call out any old-fashioned assumptions that may still be held.

One of the great strengths that I bring to the wider RFCA is that I not only come with ex-Regular Service experience, including 6 years in Whitehall, but I also bring 13 years’ experience as a reservist and the last 6 years as a senior cadet force adult volunteer. Add to that my experience as an entrepreneur and a Gold ERS holder and that makes me unique amongst my peers.

How does your organisation celebrate women’s achievements?

The leadership and management team includes a number of exceptionally capable, professional women who deliver amazing results across our organisation and I’m really proud of each and every one of them for the excellent work they deliver. There are also lots of women leaders in our region amongst the wider cadet and reserve forces communities, whose stories we’re proud to share.

We’re supporting IWD this year and throughout the year we celebrate the achievements of staff and members, including female staff and association members who are doing great work on behalf of the RFCA. We’ll continue to put these achievements in the spotlight through our website and social media, and we’ve shared some great stories already:

New Chair for East Anglia RFCA Suffolk Employer Engagement Group

Change of Command at 6 Regiment Army Air Corps

Cambridge Administrative Assistant appointed to county Logistics role

East Anglia RFCA appoints new Chief Executive

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