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Female Veterans 'Face Disadvantage In Civilian Job Interviews'

A report released today suggests female veterans face prejudice when applying for civilian jobs

(Image: Crown Copyright).

Female veterans are facing a major disadvantage when applying for civilian job interviews, a new report has found.

Research from Barclays AFTER (Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement) Programme shows that those leaving the military often face prejudice in the civilian job world, with women suffering more than men.

More than a third (35%) of all veterans believe they have not been offered an interview or progressed through the application process due to their military background, and that increases to 42% amongst female veterans.

In addition, a third of female veterans say they have been asked an inappropriate question in a job interview, including whether they knew how to act and dress in a feminine way.

Anonymous soldier
The report says more than a third of veterans believe they have been declined an interview due to their military background. (Picture: PA).

The report found that three in ten military service leavers have been asked inappropriate interview questions:

  • 26% of women have been asked if they knew how to act and dress in a feminine way.
  • 33% of men have been asked if they have ever shot or killed anyone.
  • 22% of women have been asked about how they felt working in a male-dominated environment.
  • 19% of women have been asked if they have ever handled a firearm.

The authors of the report say the findings demonstrate that more needs to be done to remove the barriers female veterans face when job hunting.

On average, it takes the veteran population four months to find a civilian job, a figure which increases to five months among female veterans.

The report further outlines that fewer female veterans are finding jobs within a month - 21% for women when compared to 39% in male veterans.

The study found 44% of female veterans have undertaken additional training when looking for civilian roles, compared to 28% of men.

British troops on Sennelager range

Stuart Tootal from the Barclays AFTER Programme said: "We’ve seen first-hand how the experience gained from a military career is a hugely valuable asset and are actively working to employ more ex-military women.

"It’s disappointing to see that female veterans are being overlooked and having to go the extra mile when transitioning into a civilian career.

"We must all play our part and take action to level this playing field – businesses must provide more support to veterans of both sexes and fully recognise the very real talent that they can add to any organisation."

Forces veteran Rachel Scandling said: "After 28 years serving in the Royal Navy, the decision to leave and take-up a new career was not straightforward.

"During my initial job search, I found that military experience didn’t necessarily carry the credibility you would expect with civilian employers - many didn’t understand the unique skills that we bring.

"For me, one of the most challenging aspects of my career shift was overcoming stereotypes to communicate my skills to employers who lacked a true understanding of military experience."