New research reveals female members of the Forces community face more employment challenges than men.

Forces Employment Charity hosts flagship ‘Women into Employment’ event in response.

 

The 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 26 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, QINETIQ, Amazon, Jacobs, BNY Mellon, National Cyber Forces.
  • Complimentary photography session with professional photographer to update headshot for LinkedIn.

Forces Employment Charity CEO, Alistair Halliday, says the impact of the Women Into Employment event can be ‘life-changing’.

 

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.”

 

Forces Employment Charity client, Ingrid Rolland, found a new career after attending the Women Into Employment event.

 

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 Ingrid, 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!”

 

If you would like to get involved in upcoming Forces Employment Charity events, register your interest here.

 

 

Sources:

Female veterans face more barriers to employment than male veterans.
Women were more likely to cite lack of confidence (17% compared with 12%) and family commitments (10% versus 6%) as barriers to career progression than men. 
Research undertaken by OnePoll on behalf of the Forces Employment Charity between 8th to 22nd November 2023.

 

 

Joanne McLeod, EM3 Programme Manager (pictured right with some of the EM3 team), reflects on the successes of the EM3 Veterans and Families programme and our key takeaways as we look to the future.

In 2022, the Forces Employment Charity became the delivery partner for EM3. EM3 was a new initiative by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, partly funded by the European Social Fund. The mission was to deliver prosperity through innovation. The aim was to empower veterans, Service leavers, their partners, and for the first time, their children by providing them with the necessary skills to excel in various sectors and industries. These sectors included digital, medical, gaming, medical science, sustainable low-carbon construction, space and satellite.

Our experienced advisors tailored services to each individual on the programme. We offered a combination of practical employment support, accredited training, corporate mentoring, and more. Our expert advisors helped clients showcase how their skills and values fit within the workforce, empowering them to stand out.

A heartfelt thank you

As the programme comes to an end, we sincerely thank all the employers, training, and education providers who supported us on this incredible journey. Collaborations ranged from the creation of the Alternative Routes into Employment Webinar series to professional mentoring. We also marked Remembrance Day in schools through our Poppy Pebbles campaign.

What do we take with us?

The EM3 Veterans and Families programme has enhanced our understanding of how to tap into the unique skillset of this community to overcome the increasing skills gap. The programme also enabled us to extend our support to young people from Forces Families. We are excited to be taking this learning forward to help more families and young people in the future.

 

If you are an employer looking to hire Service leavers, veterans, or military family members, you can get in touch here.

If you are a military veteran, partner, spouse, young person or family member, we can still support you. Register today.

 

Craig Blackburn served for 20 years as a Commissioned Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy. After leaving the Armed Forces in December 2020, his first post-military role in 2020 was COO of a Single Family Office, running six businesses for a UK UHNW principal. Craig then began actively seeking a role in Financial Services, something he’d been considering since he was first introduced to the Forces Employment Charity at an event in 2018 while transitioning out of the Royal Navy.

He attended the Forces Employment Charity’s Careers in Finance event in February 2023 and heard Ian Rand, CEO of Monument Bank, veteran, and Forces Employment Charity Trustee speaking. Later in the event, Craig introduced himself to Ian, and they connected. A couple of months later, Ian approached Craig about a Chief of Staff role he had coming up – the rest, as they say, is history!

Craig Blackburn, now Chief of Staff, shares his thoughts…

“The event I attended, and the subsequent role I secured, is proof that these play a vital role in connecting those seeking roles within Financial Services, with those who recognise the benefits veterans can bring to a business. I have attended events such as this since 2018 and strongly recommend them to anyone.

“Many service personnel I have met struggle with knowing what they really want to do when leaving the forces and so these experiences can help crystalise an ambition or, just as importantly, help decide what sector they don’t wish to work in. They also provide an unparalleled opportunity for service leavers to practice networking. I describe to friends that the day I met Ian was a sliding doors moment, if I’d not attended this event then it is highly likely that I would not be the Chief of Staff at Monument bank.”

Ian Rand, CEO of Monument Bank, concludes…

“I have been an advocate of veterans for two decades now both as a Trustee of Forces Employment Charity, but perhaps most importantly as a leader of large teams where I have seen over the years the difference the veterans can make to an organisation, and what roles they can add the most immediate value in.

“Craig is our Chief of Staff at Monument however, he was initially tasked with becoming project lead on the implementation of the largest piece of financial regulation in several years. His ability to rapidly understand the requirements as well as the business was impressive and he provided a real focal point and drive behind the programme. Despite his lack of pure Financial Services experience, he was able to be effective immediately due to the strength of his core skills he has brought from the military; especially planning and organisation, and the ability to learn fast.”

For more information about how your company can get involved with Forces Employment Charity events, develop your own military pathways and recruit veterans like Craig, please get in touch with our Employer Partnerships Team at [email protected].

Read more about who we support online here.

The Forces Employment Charity, among other military charities, were invited to No.10 Downing Street on Monday 27 November, to join the Rt Hon Johnny Mercer, the Minister of State for Veterans’ Affairs of the UK, and Mrs Murty, the Prime Minister’s wife. The day brought everyone together to say thank you to the charities who have done so much to support veterans over this last Remembrance period.

Johnny Mercer added as part of his speech* to those present:

“I am always incredibly proud of the veteran community and how they get the balance right. The way they remember the families who are obviously not with us anymore. I know it means a hell of a lot to those families and a huge thank you to you for that as well. Your commitment to this nation is unmatched. The sacrifice that really those of us who haven’t been injured or bereaved by conflicts will never really understand the scale of that sacrifice and we want to do events like this to try and get over to you the Prime Minister’s gratitude and the nation’s gratitude for everything you’ve done over the years.”

Forces Employment Charity Chief Executive, Alistair Halliday reflected through his post on LinkedIn:

“It was very special being at No.10 for this event celebrating military charities and truly amazing to be among some inspiring veterans we have supported and who are now in fabulous roles with great employers. It really is wonderful to celebrate the military talent from all parts of the military community.”

 

To find out more about the work of the Forces Employment Charity, join our mailing list today.

 

*Source: X/Twitter

We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand-new online community, MyForcesEmployment. This excellent resource provides a collaborative space for our clients to support each other, share their learnings, engage with one another, and access support above and beyond finding that next job. A one-stop shop, MyForcesEmployment allows us to serve our clients better, meeting them where they are.

Whether a Service leaver, veteran, reservist, or family member, MyForcesEmployment offers an extended arm of support for those seeking camaraderie, valuable information, and specific services tailored to their unique needs.

 

What do clients get access to?

MyForcesEmployment hosts chat groups, exclusive employment articles, extra resources and links out to a wide variety of charity partners.
Chat groups allow our clients to connect with like-minded individuals. Extending across all those we help, MyForcesEmployment provides an open space for all to communicate with their community, those like them, those with differing experiences, and those who have been where they have been.

As always, we strive to give honest, expert advice. Our community provides another avenue for us to support those transitioning and looking to upskill their civilian career. Clients can dive into thought-provoking articles, engaging discussions, and unique resources. With insights from our career consultants and advisors, we can share the wealth of knowledge and ensure no client misses out on our staff’s unique insights, continuing to empower clients throughout their working lives.

 

A brand-new mentoring hub

MyForcesEmployment also houses our new online mentoring hub. A dedicated platform created to empower our clients as they take the next step in their careers.

Mentoring is a valuable resource we have been pleased to offer to a select group of our clients over the last few years, with great success. Our new online hub allows us to expand this support across the charity, reaching all our clients and attracting more mentors from across a broad mix of sectors to offer their support to the military community.

Transitioning from military to civilian life presents unique challenges. Our mentors understand our clients’ Service careers and can assist in translating skills and experiences into marketable assets, ensuring their mentees thrive in the civilian workforce.

Mentoring is about more than finding the next role. By offering an online mentoring hub, we can provide our clients with a helping hand to build the self-assurance they need to excel. Mentors are vital in empowering our clients to reach their full potential.

Most importantly, mentoring is not just about giving back. Both our clients and mentors have routinely forged valuable connections and grown together.

Former mentor Katherine Jones, Social Value Advisor at Wates Residential, shares her experience with the Forces Employment Charity:

“The value of mentoring programmes is immeasurable and should be encouraged across all industries and sectors. Industry professionals must be able to impart their knowledge, opinions and expertise where possible to ensure that, as a community, we are all growing, sharing and learning. I take part in mentoring programmes to help develop others, explore routes and pathways, problem solve and act as a sounding, impartial and confidential board to an individual. I feel a great sense of pride being a mentor and strive to utilise the opportunity to learn from others and extend my own knowledge and understanding”.

 

Get involved

Join the conversation and discover a wealth of valuable resources at your fingertips. Register today.

Are you a professional individual with time to give back? We invite you to become a mentor.

Developing opportunities for the whole Armed Forces Community

The Forces Employment Charity’s Careers in Professional Services event saw the ‘Big 4’ come together on 27 September 2023 to welcome Service leavers, reservists, veterans and military family members at PwC UK’s embankment offices in central London. The event welcomed 147 delegates and included a full day of presentations, workshops, exhibition stands and networking drinks. Joining them were leaders from PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG, as well as a stand from disaster response charity REACT, brought together to showcase the breadth of roles and opportunities available to the Armed Forces community
 
This event is an example of how we are working with companies from across industry to encourage “ruthless collaboration” as requested by Johnny Mercer at Veterans Work to improve military pathways into a variety of sectors.
 

Here’s what various delegates had to say on LinkedIn:

“Fantastic day. Debunked the myths behind the sector and showed how the military skills map across to opportunities in the Big 4. Great panellists and very well put together by Forces Employment Charity.”
 
“A fantastic day. I was blown away by the information I received throughout the day and having the ability to meet and make contacts with people from the Big 4 was invaluable. Also meeting the FEC and chatting to them and realising that not only can you help me but you can also help my kids as they transition out of Uni life. Great day all round and thank you.”
 
“A fantastic event that actually provided tangible outputs and tools that could optimise any transition. TY.”
 
“It was impressive to see the Big 4 collaborating for the benefit of the Armed Forces community. Gems of advice on interview technique, LinkedIn crash courses (pick me up Algorithm!) and headshots. Recommend the next iteration to anyone leaving.”
 

So, what were the benefits of attending Careers in Professional Services?

1. Exploring the Big 4: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC military programmes and pathways.

2. Demystifying the sector and discovering the wide range of roles available. Hearing directly from recruiters about how to tailor CVs for applications.

3. Informative workshops where recruiters shared tips for your interview preparation.

4. The opportunity to network with hiring managers, recruiters and military community representatives from these companies.

5. A LinkedIn profile picture for each delegate.

 

Forces Employment Charity Director of Executive Services, John Cunningham, said:

“We were so pleased to be able to bring the Big 4 together along with other companies to offer Service Leavers, veterans and spouses a better understanding of the sector and an insight into the opportunities that it provides. The event was a huge success, and we look forward to more brilliant collaboration in the future!”
 

Venue hosts PwC’s Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Marissa Thomas, spoke at the event and adds:

“At PwC, we are proud to have taken the lead in hosting the first of the FEC’s ‘Big 4’ Careers in Professional Services events. We are guided by our purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems – and I hope that this is both exciting and highly relatable to those from the Armed Forces community. We look forward to welcoming new joiners and supporting them in their transition”.
 

Want to hear more?

Sign up for our mailing list, where we will announce other events in our flagship ‘Careers in’ series as and when they are available, plus much more, such as LinkedIn workshops and other insight days.

Or complete our online form to have a conversation with one of our Executive Career Consultants.

The EM3 Armed Forces Veterans and Families Programme, part-funded by the European Social Fund, supports veterans, military families and young people into civilian employment across the M3 region.

This innovative programme builds upon the talented skills of the military community, with a focus on high-growth industries, including digital business, sustainable construction, low carbon, and gaming. The programme delivers upskilling and training opportunities for the whole military family.

The programme provides the opportunity to work alongside the education sector. For the first time, we support young people aged 16 – 24, through partnerships with schools, colleges, and universities. The team has enhanced career opportunities for over 200 Service children.

 

Forces Employment Charity’s Education and Skills Liaison, Kelly Wales, says:

“Young people from military families need the opportunity to talk to someone who understands and can empathise. Attending many different schools means that children from military families miss opportunities focused on careers. As advisors, we can provide these children with continuous career support and a toolkit to empower them to take ownership of their future.”

Get to know more about Kelly Wales.

Over the year, the team has supported 27 schools and colleges across Hampshire and Surrey. They deliver employability workshops and mock interview days, plus attend career fairs.

Working with key partners, including the Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance, Naval Children’s Charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and single Service welfare services, all contribute towards the programme’s success.

 

Nicole Bridgman, SO2 Garrison Community Support Officer at Aldershot Garrison, says:

“I see your role as an integral part to supporting Service families. The specialist work that you are doing in supporting ALONGSIDE the working group is not only essential but is working. The young people are relating to you, and that means that they have that buy-in. Without this input, these Service children would not be given that chance to change their behaviours and would continue to feel unheard and let down by the system. Having your knowledge and wide range of contacts has not only benefited the young persons but also Aldershot Garrison. I have enjoyed working in collaboration with you and Forces Employment Charity, I hope that we can continue this working relationship.”  

 

Since the programme’s launch, 114 employers have signed up to support our community. Collaboration includes webinars, employability workshops, and career fairs. We thank each employer for their support.

If you would like to support our young beneficiaries to develop their employability skills and increase their life chances, please get in touch with our team at [email protected].

Veterans Work: Access took place earlier this year, a collaborative conference between Deloitte, Forces Employment Charity, and Forces in Mind Trust. With the Right Honourable Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs, making the opening address, over 100 delegates attended.

John Cunningham, Director of Executive Services at the Forces Employment Charity, shares more about the conference and how it busted some myths about veterans and Service leavers…

The conference, several months in the planning, focussed on de-bunking long-standing stereotypes about the lack of diversity amongst those veterans working in the Financial and Professional Services sector. It also represented a call to action for policymakers, government officials, industry employers, MOD, and charities in attendance. To do more to ensure that the sector is genuinely accessible to all service leavers, veterans, and their families

Some of the myths that were debunked, in large part through the presentation of some fantastic case studies of veterans currently working in the sector, are outlined below:

 

Myth: Employment in the sector is limited to those with specific demographic characteristics such as rank, education, and socio-economic background

The reality is that evidence from the case studies and veterans at the conference demonstrated true diversity amongst those enjoying successful careers in Financial and Professional Services.

Myth: Employment opportunities are limited to London

The reality is the sector has numerous firms with HQs and offices across the UK.

Myth: Applicants for employment need specific qualifications and experience

In reality, many veterans and Service leavers already have fantastic aptitude and valuable transferrable skills from their time in the military.

Myth: You need connections

The reality is that the sector welcomes diversity of thought and experience; it strives for that diversity in its recruitment. Many firms run programmes and internships to open up opportunities for veterans and Service leavers.

 

The well-known broadcaster and newsreader, Kate Silverton, skilfully hosted and compered the conference. She encouraged fantastic contributions from the floor, asked challenging questions herself, and held panellists to account fearlessly.

Kate is no newcomer to Veterans Work, having previously hosted the 2021 series of podcasts. She is one of a long list of celebrities and veterans who have supported the Veterans Work initiative by appearing in numerous short films, podcasts, and previous conferences since 2016 when the collaboration published their report:

Veterans Work: Recognising the potential of ex-service personnel

 

As suggested by Johnny Mercer, the event fired all those in attendance with enthusiasm to “ruthlessly collaborate” in continuing to advocate and ensure that the Financial and Professional Services sector is genuinely open for business for all veterans, Service leavers, and their spouses or partners.

Do you want to access this unique talent pool? Register with us today to promote your vacancies.

 

The Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15) remedy (McCloud) is due to start being implemented from 1 October 2023.

David Roberts, Head of Pensions at the Forces Pension Society, provides some background on the remedy and the Society’s understanding of how it will be implemented…

When the new public service pension schemes were introduced in 2015 (for the Armed Forces this was the introduction of AFPS 15), transitional protection rules were put in place to ‘protect’ those who were within 10 years of their normal retirement age. For AFPS members this meant that Service Personnel who were born before 1 April 1967 were allowed to remain in their ‘legacy’ scheme (e.g. AFPS 75 or AFPS 05) whilst younger members were automatically transferred to AFPS 15. This was subsequently ruled to be age discriminatory and the Government is required to address the issue.

To remedy the situation, Armed Forces personnel who were in service both on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015 with any break in service of less than 5 years will have the option to elect whether they wish to receive legacy scheme benefits (e.g. AFPS 75/05) or equivalent AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2022). On 1 April 2022 all serving personnel became members of AFPS15, and all legacy schemes closed on 31 March 2022.

Remediable Service Statements

Eligible members will all receive a Remediable Service Statement (RSS) from Veterans UK by 1 April 2025. Each RSS will be tailored to individual circumstances and will outline the value of the member’s legacy and AFPS 15 scheme benefits that were accrued during the remedy period. We understand that some cohorts such as pensioner members, imminent leavers (i.e. those retiring from the Armed Forces within 9 months from 1 October 2023) and representatives of members who have died, will be prioritised. This is because their pension is (or will be) in payment on/shortly after 1 October 2023.

After the first RSS is issued, eligible serving personnel will receive one RSS per year. Those who have left or will leave the Armed Forces with a deferred pension that is not yet in payment, may also request an annual RSS for free by contacting Veterans UK.

‘Immediate Choice’

Eligible members who have left/will leave the Armed Forces between 1 April 2015 and 1 October 2023 with a pension in payment (including Early Departure Payments (EDPs)), and eligible dependants with a pension in payment in cases where a member has died, are in the ‘Immediate Choice’ (IC) cohort.

Eligible members leaving the Armed Forces before 1 October 2023 will do so on their current pension terms. Once IC members receive their remedy choice, they will have 12 months to submit their election from the date of issue of their RSS. Once a member has made an election, their pension will be subject to retrospective adjustment if they have chosen to receive alternative benefits (i.e. they may have an underpayment or overpayment of benefits which will be paid or recovered).

‘Deferred Choice’

For those not in the Immediate Choice cohort, there is what is known as ‘Deferred Choice’. Personnel who are in-scope will ‘rollback’ to their relevant legacy scheme for the remedy period. They will then be able to choose between their relevant legacy scheme benefits and those that would have been offered by AFPS 15 for their service in the remedy period:

  • Members leaving the Armed Forces within 9 months of 1 October 2023 (known as ‘imminent leavers’) with entitlement to immediate benefits will be sent a RSS as soon as practicable after 1 September 2023. They will have 6 months to make their election. However, if they are unable to make an election prior to their final day in service, legacy benefits will be paid pending their election. If they subsequently elect to receive AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period, they will be applied retrospectively and, where necessary, the pension/EDP will be subject to adjustment.
  • Eligible members who retire from the Armed Forces from 1 July 2024 with entitlement to immediate benefits will be provided with a RSS before they leave and will have 6 months to make their election.
  • Eligible members who have left/will leave the Armed Forces with deferred benefits (i.e. without entitlement to an immediate pension or EDP) will receive an initial RSS from Veterans UK by 1 April 2025. The initial RSS will not facilitate an election choice unless/until their deferred benefits are due to come into payment. Rather this RSS will simply compare the pension benefits for the remedy period for information purposes only. Thereafter, members with deferred benefits can request one RSS per year if they wish until such time as their pension benefits are payable, at which point they will be requested to make their election.

Default Position

For members who do not submit an election by the end of their specified ‘election period’, the ‘default’ position is that they will receive legacy scheme benefits based on that being the rollback position. In all cases, once an election is made or the election period ends, the choice/default position is irrevocable.

Armed Forces Pension Calculator

In advance of RSS’ being issued, the MoD revised online calculator is now available which allows serving personnel to run calculations to compare their legacy scheme benefits and AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period.

 

If you are a member of the Forces Pension Society and have a pensions-related question, you can contact them via ‘Submit a Question’ in their members’ area.

If you are not a member but would like to know more about the Forces Pension Society, visit their website today.

Don’t forget to join us online during Pension Awareness Week to ask your questions and understand more about your military pension.

 

Women have served in our Armed Forces for more than a century, applying for the same roles as men and enjoying fulfilling careers. Yet when they leave military life, it can take them nine months* or longer to find employment, and the employment gap between them and their male counterparts remains acute.

This year marked the third year of our Women into Employment event series; events designed to focus on the employment needs of women from across the Armed Forces community. We bring employers and career specialists together with job seekers and those interested in reviewing their employment potential to explore new job opportunities and how to become not just job ready but confident in approaching the job search process.

Chloe Mackay, Deputy Chief Executive at the Forces Employment Charity, says: “Women into Employment has grown in popularity, year on year, with the experiences of some attendees having been truly transformational.”

In May, we ran a pre-conference networking evening hosted by Deloitte and the employment conference itself in June, was kindly hosted by J.P. Morgan. The volume and range of employers involved demonstrates their commitment and interest in hiring female talent across the Armed Forces community; JP Morgan, Centrica, Sky, Barclays, SubSea7, Deloitte, BNY Mellon, DAS, KPMG, CBRE and Smiths were just some of the employers involved in supporting this great initiative. As Laura Blair, Head of Programme at Centrica Ex-Forces Pathway said: “Our ambition is to hire from across the Armed Forces Community.”

 

Women into Employment Conference 2023Both events provided female job seekers and those interested in evaluating their employment potential with an opportunity to network and talk face-to-face about job opportunities and careers and to gain insights into the wider civilian jobs landscape.

Over 50 speakers, employers and industry experts contributed their time, expertise and energy to make each event successful. For the conference, we had an amazing Chair in Sky news broadcaster, Kimberly Leonard. She expertly managed a packed agenda and kept everyone on track and on time and with over one hundred women from across the Armed Forces Community in attendance, it was a day to remember.

“I am so glad I attended this event. 57 speakers and access to so much knowledge and positivity. I left the programme buoyed up about my chances of finding a job that works for my family and me. Excellent networking opportunities also.” – Saskia Hart, attendee

 

Our first year of hosting Women into Employment started the conversation with employers and women from the Armed Forces community, followed in 2022 with an event focused on identifying and overcoming some of the challenges women face when approaching the employment market.

Our focus this June was to understand how we can best support women to ensure they are fully equipped with the tools they need to access employment opportunities successfully. The conference definitely came a long way in achieving our goal, with 83% of attendees saying they made valuable connections and found the information and expertise on offer throughout the event useful in their next steps.

Networking, and knowing how you can make your network work is an ongoing topic for us all.  We recognise how important creating and building a network is to job success. This is where the idea of a networking event to complement the conference came about. People want an opportunity to meet future employers in an informal setting – to connect, network and take conversations forward and our May did exactly that. But don’t just take our word for it.

“It was the best networking and insight event I have been to. It was extremely informative, powerful and enjoyable, and certainly empowered women.” – Vivienne Buck, attendee

 

Next Steps

Following the success of this year’s Women into Employment events, we will be repeating both events in 2024. If you are interested in getting involved and are committed to recruiting from the female ex-military and spouse talent pools, then we want to hear from you.

 

Support for Military Women

At the Forces Employment Charity, we have a range of options for support for Military Women, from our dedicated Military Women programme to our Executive Services offering. If you would like to be part of our growing network and have access to this high level of support and job opportunities, register with us today.

 

 

*A 2021 Parliamentary Defence Sub-Committee study; Protecting those who protect us: Women in the Armed Forces from Recruitment to Civilian Life, concluded:

  1. Female veterans felt their skills and experience from the Armed Forces needed to be understood by civilian employers.
  2. One in five surveyed said it took them nine months or longer to find employment after leaving the military.
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