Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), the grant awarding body with the aim of enabling all ex-Service personnel and their families to have a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, has just passed a significant milestone – their 100th grant award…

The award to Cranfield University, for £96,688, coincides with the celebration of 100 years of women serving in the UK Armed Forces. The focus of this work is to explore the transition that female Service leavers make from the Armed Forces to civilian employment.

The decision to commission this research came about as FiMT identified a lack of evidence about the employment outcomes for female Service leavers. Cranfield School of Management, in partnership with the Institute for Employment Studies, were appointed to deliver this research following a competitive tender process.

The statistics suggest that after leaving Service, women are less likely than their male counterparts to gain paid employment and are more likely to be economically inactive. This research aims to shed light for the first time on this field to understand the reasons women leave, why their outcomes are different to their male counterparts, and how these different outcomes might be addressed.

The research will consist of a mixed approach and will also make comparisons between female Service leavers and women in the labour market in general, including employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.

Emma Parry, Professor of Human Resource Management and Head of the School’s Changing World of Work group, said: “There is a lack of evidence about the employment outcomes for female Armed Forces leavers, but what data is available seems to suggest that women struggle more to obtain paid employment in civilian life.

“Through our research, we will endeavour to find out if this is the case, why it might be happening and what the Government, business and society can do about it. We are delighted to have been commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust to carry out this important piece of work, and are looking forward to getting started.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said: “It’s fantastic that as we celebrate 100 years of women serving in the UK Armed Forces, our 100th grant award relates to gaining a better understanding of their outcomes post-service.”