The leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) says it hopes a new military ethos and new dress code will help address a much-needed cultural shift as the country struggles to recruit. more diverse employees.
During a technical meeting about recent initiatives and future plans undertaken by the Department of Defense to address military culture, officials said the lack of diversity within ranks is affecting the military. affect readiness and the situation needs serious attention.
“The reality is that the Canadian workforce has changed but we, the CAF, have not. 70% of the CAF workforce is still white male, even though they represent only 39% of the Canadian civilian workforce,” said Major General Gen. Lise Bourgon, acting chief of staff, on Wednesday.
“So as an organization, we must attract, recruit, retain and develop talent that represents our Canadian society.”
To this end, Bourgon says the new ethos “trusted to serve” will emphasize character as vitally important, while also including embracing military value and teamwork as a professional expectations.
Also soon to be enacted is a new regulation on sexist uniforms for military personnel.
“We have heard from our members that the existing dress code guidelines are non-inclusive and do not allow our members to show their true selves in uniform,” Bourgon said. .
CAF will provide members with choices regarding their appearance while following safety and performance guidelines.
“Skill and expertise are not determined by the length or color of your hair. So this will be the first visual display of our culture and honestly a very clear signal that CAF is evolving into a more inclusive organization,” said Bourgon.
Lieutenant-General. Jennie Carignan, director of culture and professional conduct, cites COVID-19 and the discovery of repeated cases of sexual misconduct over the past few years as reasons for low hiring levels, particularly especially for women, Indigenous Peoples and minorities.
While the Force aims to reach 25.1% of female recruits, by 2021 it will be 15%.
More details to come…