Forces Employment Charity is committed to supporting all members of the Military community, spanning all those who have served, as well as their loved ones.

In order to ensure that female members of the community are sufficiently supported to succeed, the charity is holding its annual Women into Employment Event (WIE24). Entry is free and will be hosted at UBS in London on Tuesday 26th March, from 10:00 – 18:00.

Research shows that women who have served are more than twice as likely to be economically inactive (20% compared with 9% for male veterans) and face more barriers to employment than men.

New research by the Forces Employment Charity reveals that female veterans suggest their biggest barrier to finding civilian work is recognising their own transferable skills they have to offer. 62% of female ex-Forces commented that they sometimes underestimated the skills they developed during their military career, compared to only 56% of male veterans. Further findings reveal that women are also more likely to deselect themselves from roles they could be suitable for.

Sadly, 72% of female veterans said they had found their transition to ‘civvy street’ harder than they expected it to be (compared with 63% of men). Moreover, 65% of women who had served, reported to have felt a loss of identity since leaving their Forces role behind them.

When female partners and spouses of serving personnel were asked, 1 in 6 stated that the impact on their career was the hardest thing about being in the Forces community, with the top barrier to employment being frequent house moves (25%), closely followed by not having close networks nearby (22%).

Female partners were also significantly less optimistic about their employment opportunities, with only 20% of women stating that they thought things were improving for military partners, compared to 36% of male partners.

This year’s WIE24 event focusses on helping women to recognise their worth and harness their full potential. It also offers valuable and unique access to employment opportunities from across a variety of industries, with companies who recognise the talent the military community has to offer.

Chaired by former BBC senior political reporter and BFBS journalist, Sian Grzeszczyk, the event has a full programme including:

  • Interactive sessions on how channel potential and structure the steps to advance career pathways
  • Top tips from industry speakers and HR Teams to help maximise job applications
  • Breakout sessions with expert panellists
  • Opportunities to meet with talent teams from around 20 companies including:
    • UBS
    • Octopus Energy
    • Centrica
    • Amazon
    • Jacobs
    • BNY Mellon
    • National Cyber Forces
  • Complimentary photography session with professional photographer to update headshot for LinkedIn

Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive at the Forces Employment Charity, says: “We have known for some time that female veterans face additional challenges in finding employment and this new research bears this out.  We need to improve our support for the female members of the Forces community, whether that be those who have served, or those whose partners are members of the Military, so that employers can benefit from harnessing the talents of this remarkable group.

“The Forces Employment Charity is there to support every member of the Armed Forces Community with more than 10 unique programmes dedicated to offering support, tailored to each individual’s goals and needs. As part of our services, we are proud to offer a suite of programmes and events that are led by women who are either ex-Military, or are partners of those who are serving. Therefore, everything we do to support our female community is rooted not only in exceptional expertise, but also lived experience.

“We are delighted to continue to offer WIE24. For some who have attended the event in the past, the impact has been life-changing.”

Army Reservist, Ingrid Rolland, was seeking a career change and attended last year’s Women into Employment event, following a recommendation from her Military Women Programme Employment Advisor at the Forces Employment Charity.

After hearing a presentation from one of the speakers, a representative from Centrica, Ingrid was inspired to investigate job opportunities within the company and successfully secured a role of Offshore Operations Supervisor.

When speaking about her decision to attend the event, she says: “It’s the best decision I ever made. If I’d missed that opportunity, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. The event was targeted at all levels – whether you want to be a smart gas engineer or a CEO, there was a range of opportunities. It’s a really great event.”

Commenting on her new role and career prospects, she concludes: “I’ve got a huge and exciting future ahead of me, in an industry I didn’t really know existed, in a role I definitely didn’t know was possible to do. I genuinely couldn’t have found anything more perfect. Thank you!”

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