Women are a largely untapped source of talent in ‘non-traditional' fields such as technical trades and aircrew roles.
All job roles in the Air Force are open to women, with equal pay to men. The range of jobs are as diverse as the people employed, including pilot, engineer, logistics, air traffic control, doctor and many others. Significant resources have been allocated to attract and retain Air Force women. Implemented strategies include:
- greater access to flexible work
- better management of breaks in careers
- improved availability of mentoring and support networks.
Support networks and programs
Women's Integrated Networking Groups (WINGS)
WINGS is a locally delivered program for Air Force women. It involves a 2-hour facilitated session every 6-8 weeks (between February-November). It focuses on career development with an added advantage of personal growth.
The program brings women of all groups and ranks together in a friendly and non-judgemental environment. The participants:
- provide mutual support and advice for having a lasting career in the Air Force
- hear from guest speakers about issues affecting women and their careers
- create valuable networks (and friendships) with Air Force women from diverse geographical locations.
Project WINTER (Women In Non-Traditional Roles)
Project WINTER is aimed at Air Force jobs where women represent less than 7 percent of the workforce. The purpose is to increase participation and the support available to make a difference.
Tertiary Aviation Reimbursement Scheme
Tertiary Aviation Reimbursement Scheme (TARS) has been introduced to attract people in the Air Force from a specified demographic group, including women. People joining the Air Force with a relevant Bachelor level degree in aviation may be eligible to have their academic costs reimbursed if they meet the relevant criteria.
Australian Women Pilots' Association membership
Air Force sponsors memberships of the Australian Women Pilots' Association for all female pilots. This sponsorship provides mentoring and professional development opportunity for female Air Force pilots. It allows them to engage with other female pilots outside the military network.
Air Force sponsored flying scholarships are awarded to two young women under the age of 24 each year. They are designed to assist with the costs of pursuing a career in aviation.
To find out how to apply, visit the Australian Women Pilots' Association.
Aviation program for young women
Aviation programs allow young women an opportunity to understand career opportunities in Air Force and support diverse recruitment by promoting Air Force as an employer of choice for young women. The programs are open to women aged 16 to 24 and over several days on base, participants can explore aviation, engineering and technical trade careers available within the Air Force. Participants:
- are exposed to military aviation operations
- experience the day to day routine of an Air Force base
- have opportunities to engage with Air Force personnel and Defence Force Recruiting specialists.
Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace
The Air Force was awarded Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace accreditation by the Australian Breastfeeding Association. RAAF is the first military organisation in the world to achieve that. This demonstrates the support available to women returning from their maternity leave.