It’s not every day you get to board a Royal Canadian war-ship.
But for dozens of women in Halifax, getting to experience the inner workings of a frigate was part of a special excursion that HMCS Toronto hosted as part of International Women’s Day.
“I’ve never been on a frigate and I’m excited to experience new adventures and learn a whole lot,” said Floria Aghdamimehr, one of the women invited aboard.
According to Royal Canadian Naval Officer Amber Comisso, the military is actively looking to increase female membership.
Comisso says in general, the Canadian Armed Forces has had a female employment rate of about 15 per cent. The forces hope that tours, like the one aboard HMCS Toronto, will help boost that.
“Last year, the Chief of Defence Staff actually mandated that we’re going to get to 25 per cent women in the Canadian Armed Forces in the next nine years,” she said.
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Comisso has served two decades aboard Royal Canadian Navy ships and hopes her journey inspires others.
“Seeing is believing. Unless they see someone in uniform, they don’t think they can do it. I’m a mom. I’ve got two little kids, I’ve got a husband that works, and I do it. I think we’re really trying to be smarter about showing women that this is really a viable option,” she said.
Comisso adds pay parity as a point women may consider when thinking of pursuing a naval career.
“No matter if you’re a man or a woman, you get paid the same for the same job and not everyone else can offer that.”