New report shows female veterans face more barriers to employment than male veterans

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) have published a report on Female Service Leavers and Employment with an accompanying brief for employers

The research was commissioned by FiMT and carried out by Cranfield University and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). Professor Emma Parry, the lead researcher at Cranfield University, said: “We hope this study inspires a collective effort to improve their transition to civilian employment.”

Their research examines the employment outcomes and experiences of female Service leavers as they transition into civilian paid employment. They looked at the reasons why women have a lower employment rate (69%) compared to men (81%), after leaving the Armed Forces. 

The research reveals that service leavers in general have difficulty translating their military skills and experience into the civilian world, with some employers also believing they lack commercial and market experience and find it hard to adjust to less structured environments.

Another insight from Female Service leavers and employers interviewed in the report indicates that women, unlike their male counterparts, undervalue their experience and may deselect themselves from roles they are suitable for.

The Brief for Employers, a separate document to the report, explains the findings and makes recommendations to employers who want to be ‘Forces-friendly’ like:

  • Do not, for example, say that experience in the sector or with particular products is essential if, in fact, it is the skills and attributes of the individual that are far more important. Gaps in knowledge can be easily plugged when you employ the right person.  
  • Make new employees who are Service leavers feel welcome, for example by giving them a buddy or mentor who is familiar with the Armed Forces, and ensuring their new line manager understands their background.
  • Engage with the Ministry of Defence’s Careers Transition Partnership (CTP), which helps ex-Service people to find a new civilian career or job and helps employers to recruit the best.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery. The report includes recommendations for the Ministry of Defence and employers.

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