Women the focus of new recruiting campaign

Initiative to rercuit women into the CAF

A national initiative has begun to increase the representation of women in the Canadian Armed Forces.

A national initiative has begun to increase the representation of women in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

Through a Director, Marketing and Advertising (DMA) recruitment strategy, the CAF is being showcased as an employer of choice for women.

More than 50 military members have been featured in the women’s campaign so far, with over 30 providing personal testimonials to help the cause.  

“Looking at the numbers of women in the CAF it has become a priority to reach out and let women know the military is a real and viable option for them,” says Peggy Thériault, Senior Marketing Advisor with the DMA. “We went out into the CAF community and found great role models to show women they too can thrive in the military.”

One marketing avenue is the website www.realwomenreallife.ca. It is a partnership between DMA and HGTV and showcases how nine CAF women manage work and life goals.

Local member, PO1 Shanna Wilson, Planning Chief at HMCS Malahat, offered her story to the recruiting initiative.

“The first ship I was on hadn’t had any women before,” says PO1 Wilson in her entry at Real Women, Real Life. “It was just like having a bunch of brothers. As long as you give as good as you get you’ll be fine. There aren’t a lot of firsts for women left.”

As a member of the Defence Women’s Advisory Group, PO1 Wilson has always had a passion for supporting the role of women in the Forces.

“There’s definitely a thought in place in a lot of people that the military is primarily for men,” she says. “That just isn’t the case anymore.”

The Real Women, Real Life website has proven to be a smart plan, with tens of thousands of unique users coming to the site. This has led to page views on www.forces.ca “Women in the Forces” to experience a jump from 13,000 visits at the end of last year to 135,000 since the beginning of the campaign, an increase of nearly 900 per cent.

“We’re very happy with how the campaign has been going,” says Thériault. “As we continue to gather data and numbers we’ll decide how to proceed, but so far we believe we’re making a
positive impact.”

DMA has also partnered with Roger’s Chatelaine, Bell’s The Loop, Olive’s Au féminin, and Quebecor’s Canoe, Lifestyle / Art de Vivre to showcase women in the

The work being done by DMA is one component of the overall strategy aimed at increasing the number of women who join the CAF. There is also a lot of work being done by recruiters, such as influencer events and media engagements that also directly impact women recruiting. 

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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