We recently learned teenage cannon-fodder taking selfies with Tommy Robinson at a motorway service station is beyond the pale according to the Army top brass, who wheeled out an Imam to scold everyone.
According to this paper (pdf), which is published by a Major Tim Towler in a branch of the military calling itself The Centre for Army Leadership, what is needed in the British Army is – you guessed it – more feminism:
Last year the Army was in the Times newspaper’s Top 50 Employers for Women and won a Workplace Gender Equality Award from Business in the Community.
Who knew the Army was eligible for Business in the Community awards?
And yet, a few weeks ago, I had an eye-opening, embarrassing, and worrying discussion on the challenges still being faced by women in the Army. Eye-opening, as I was not aware how unpleasant and discriminatory we can be; embarrassing, as I had naively hoped that our Army might be better; and, worrying, as we have a long way to go. The final remark, ‘there’s not much we can do’, irritated me, and spurred me to write this Insight. I felt ashamed, and I wholeheartedly disagreed.
I’m unsure of this chap’s regiment, so I’m going to go with the Royal Army Handwringing Corps.
One example of this opportunity is shared parental leave which was introduced in the UK in April 2015. Sadly, Morrissey highlights that ‘just 3,000 couples took shared leave in the first three months of 2016, compared with 155,000 mothers taking old-style maternity leave (and 52,000 fathers opting for shorter paternity leave)’. Men and women both want to play an active role in their children’s lives, but is taking parental leave for a few months seen as consistent with having a great career? How many women’s careers currently suffer from taking maternity leave? As leaders we can change this. But this goes beyond just career progression. UK childcare is the most expensive in the world.
When you have Army officers parroting The Guardian over maternity pay, we can safely assume the Army’s not what it was.
In 2010 Helena Morrissey founded The 30% Club, a UK business initiative aimed at achieving better gender-balanced company boards. Its goal was to reach 30% women on UK company boards. Ambitious noting that in 2008, ‘fewer than 12% of the directors at the UK’s top 100 listed companies were women.’ At the start, they struggled, acknowledging ‘that leaving those in the diverse or under-represented groups in charge of solving the problem of their own underrepresentation is an impossible task.’ They needed to ‘involve men with the ability to change things’.
What’s this got to do with the Army?
Noting that women make up 9.2% of our Army (and only 6.4% of the General Staff), men need to step forward.
I’ve noticed that, of the men who are always saying we need more women in senior positions, none are prepared to resign from their own posts to hand them the opportunity they deserve. What are you waiting for, major?
It is in our interest: greater diversity of thought, increased collaboration, greater personal and professional flexibility, and the encouragement to attain a better system that will enable us all to succeed both in and out of work.
Just don’t get caught taking selfies with Tommy Robinson. We don’t want that kind of diversity of thought.
The biggest short-term effect we can all have is through challenging everyday sexism.
Okay, that’s enough for today, I think. As I’m fond of saying, it’s quite obvious that the purpose of the modern British military is to further the socio-political aims of demented progressives. It sure as hell isn’t to fight and win wars or defend the nation against foreign aggression. If this paper is any guide, they might as well turn the Army over to the sociology department at the nearest poly.
And this amused:
The views expressed in Leadership Insights are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official thinking of the British Army or the Ministry of Defence.
No? Somehow I don’t think they’d publish an article which said feminism is the biggest threat to the British Army since the Third Reich.