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Army November 11, 2010
By LS Paul McCallum
GENDER issues came under the micro-
scope at the Army Women's Networking
Forum in Canberra on October 29 as part
of the CDF Women in Defence initiative.
Career Manager Army (CMA) Brig
Matthew Hall has conducted 14 Army
Women's forums across 10 Defence loca-
tions for about 925 personnel.
He said the forums gave Army women
an opportunity to "promote new initiatives,
raise awareness of gender-specific issues,
provide guidance on networking and men-
toring and discuss strategic developments
"The information and feedback we get
from the attendees goes through the chain
up to Lt-Gen Gillespie and helps us identify
issues that affect how attractive a career in
the Army is to women," he said.
This gives Army an opportunity to shape
developments in support of the CDF Action
Plan for Women, refine policy, or imple-
ment change based on the recommended
While aimed at women in Army, more
men are attending including brigade com-
manders, COs and RSMs.
Guest speaker Sex Discrimination
Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said it
was important men attended the forums.
"While forums like these are important
for networking and encouraging mentoring
among Army women, empowering women
is not enough," Mrs Broderick said.
"We need to realign the system so that
it works for everyone. With such a large
percentage of men in senior management
positions, we need men to help us imple-
ment these changes, not just for the benefit
Forum focuses on
women for future
Focus is on women: Brig Matthew Hall,
Lt-Col Elizabeth Kahn and Cpl Courtney
Cleggett on their way to the Army Women's
forum at Russell Offices. Photos by LAC Aaron Curran
It's a matter of survival: CA Lt-Gen
Ken Gillespie addresses the forum on his
directives towards gender equality in Army.
Difficulties with balancing work and
Accessing suitable and affordable child
Impact of breaks in service for career
Cultural and attitudinal change
required for accessing flexible working
Challenge of establishing a positive
organisational presence in a male-
dominated workplace and
Assessing senior female role models
of women, but for the benefit of all mem-
Issues facing women in the corporate
world are a lack of affordable child care,
lack of flexible working options and a paid
parental leave program, all of which are
features of Army's conditions of service.
CMA will conduct another series in
2011 at major bases.
Course content is planned to help per-
sonnel develop the skills and knowledge
to seek guidance on initiatives and policies
available and provide coaching on how to
access these employment benefits.
The following forums will engage
more with the chain of command to tailor
the content in order to indentify potential
opportunities for personnel related initia-
CMA is developing a mentoring pro-
gram that is intended to be implemented
across the wider Army and will continue to
offer various professional external devel-
opment activities for women.
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