Thursday 16 December 2021 / 2:12 PM Defence / John Healey / Women and Equalities

Government’s target for female recruits into armed forces won’t be reached for forty years

New Labour analysis has found that the Government’s target to increased female recruits into the armed forces will not be reached for 40 years.

Latest data on diversity in the armed forces out today has revealed that of the 22,780 personnel recruited in 2021, only 2,890 were women.

On 2 December, the Government announced that by 2030, 30% of all new recruits into the armed forces will be women.

However, Labour analysis based on current trends has found that this target for female recruits will not be reached until the early 2060s.

The MoD’s previous target for 15% of new recruits to be women by 2020 was never achieved, as women currently make up 12.7% of new recruits.

The new Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Antony Radakin said that the armed forces has to increase the number of women or “we risk looking ridiculous. This is not about wokefulness. It is about woefulness. The woefulness of too few women.”

The recent Defence Select Committee’s report into women in the armed forces highlighted how a military career “is still a man’s world”.

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to the UK armed forces diversity figures, said:

“The Government has consistently let down women in our frontline forces, and Ministers keep making pledges which sounds good but fail to act.

“Women often have the impression that it is harder for them to succeed in the military, and such unclear targets will only reinforce this. We cannot allow more women to be put off a career in the Armed Forces.

“Ministers must stop seeking quick headlines and have a plan to drive up female recruitment, as well as ensuring women are properly supported throughout their service.”