Canadian Soldiers - The Many Faces of Diversity in Military Employment

The Many Faces of Diversity in Military Employment

The Many Faces of Diversity in Military Employment

Start Date

Wednesday November 4, 2020

End Date

Thursday November 5, 2020


9:00 am - 3:00 pm



An enduring question for armed forces is how to recruit, develop, support, and retain the best people, people who are smart, skilled, physically fit and willing to lay down their lives if necessary. This workshop focussed on the ability of the armed forces to meet its person-power requirements based on the establishment of an organizational culture of inclusiveness and cohesion.

We achieved this by showcasing research and practice which examines the recruitment, employment, and retention of under-represented groups as outlined in the Employment Equity Act, particularly women, visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples. The workshop also addressed other forms of diversity and identity within the defence organizations, such as the generational and LGBTQ2S+ perspectives. In line with the broadly adopted diversity lens, we will also examine diversity from a Whole Force perspective, including institutional distinctions related to regular and reserve force personnel, military members and defence civilians, as well as cultural differences among the military services.

Retention of trained and experienced personnel is particularly important in the armed forces because militaries must select, train, and promote from within, yet retention is getting harder in today’s competitive job market. The Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff and others have argued that the military needs more flexible personnel policies to attract and keep talent, especially for specialized skills for emerging challenges. Is this something that other armed forces have done successfully?

Understanding the concerns of specific groups is important to tackle integration challenges as the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence strive to become more diverse and incorporate cultural change at the institutional level. This workshop brought together subject matter experts across the Canadian defence and security community, including university scholars, researchers and practitioners in the CAF/DND, as well as international experts to exchange information and co-develop knowledge in the military personnel domain.






Panel 1 

 Diversity and the Culture of the Armed Forces: Part 1

  • Justin Wright and Maj. Felix Fonséca
    Making Sense of Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession of Arms [Presentation - PDF 99kb]

 Panel 2 

 Prospective Recruits and Service Members: Ethnicity and Race Perspectives 

  • Nancy Otis (Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis): 
    Enhancing the representation of visible minorities in the CAF- Insights from CAF prospective recruits, applicants, and service members [Presentation - PDF 480kb]
  • Grazia Scoppio (Royal Military College of Canada), Nancy Otis (Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis), and Yan (Lizzie) Yan (Queen’s University): 
    The military as a path to citizenship, integration, and identity? Visible minorities and immigrants’ perspectives about the military in Canada [Presentation - PDF 865kb]
  • Vanessa Brown (Canadian Forces College): 
    Diversity and Inclusion within the Canadian Armed Forces: An Intersectional Approach [Presentation - PDF 132kb]

 Panel 3 

 LGBTQ2S+: History and Practice in the Canadian Armed Forces

  • Carmen Poulin (University of New Brunswick) and Lynne Gouliquier (Laurentian University): 
    25 years of Research with LGBTQ+ Military Members and Partners: Celebrating Cultural Transformation 
  • Penny Foster (Directorate Human Rights and Diversity): 
    LGBTQ2+ inclusion: Implementing policies, program and practices
  • Lynne Gouliquer (Laurentian University) and Carmen Poulin (University of New Brunswick):
    Making Room for Diversity by Examining Lingering Mundane Discrimination [Presentation - PDF 1.8mb]

 Panel 4 

 Gender Inclusive Employment in the Military

  • Barbara T. Waruszynski (Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis): 
    The Attraction, Recruitment, and Employment of Women in the Canadian Military
  • Maya Eichler (Mt. Saint-Vincent University): 
    Women Veterans: Challenging the Transition Paradigm
  • Linna Tam-Seto (Queen’s University): 
    Mentorship and Women in the Canadian Armed Forces [Presentation - PDF 1.1mb]

 Panel 5 

 Post-Millennials and Generational Employment Considerations

  • A.C. Okros (Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security: 
    Harnessing the Potential of Post-Millennials 
  • Stéfanie von Hlatky (Queen’s University) and Steve Taylor (former Commanding Officer, Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment): 
    Recruitment and retention in the Reserves: A case study of the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment [Presentation PDF 384kb] 
  • LCol. Mike Meumann (US Army): 
    The role of mentorship and coaching in the US Army’s new personnel talent management system

 Panel 6

 Total Defence Workforce Personnel Integration and Collaboration

  • Irina Goldenberg (Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis): 
    Military and Civilian Personnel Integration within the Total Defence Workforce 
  • Vince Connelly (Oxford Brookes University; UK Ministry of Defence): 
    Reserve Forces - Identity and Integration in a Total Defence Workforce [Presentation PDF 670kb]
  • Ryan Kelty (US Air Force Academy):
    Private Military and Security Contractors: Dynamic Tension within the Modern Military’s Total Force [Presentation PDF 810kb]

Panel 7

 Diversity and the Culture of the Armed Forces: Part ll

  • Col. Remi Hajjar (US Military Academy, West Point): 
    The Necessity of Cross-Cultural Competence for Building and Leading Inclusive and Diverse Military Forces [Presentation PDF 1.6mb]
  • Meaghan Shoemaker (Directorate Human Rights and Diversity): 
    Understanding the CAF Diversity Strategy: Challenges, Opportunities, and Next Steps [Presentation PDF 576kb]
  • Karen D. Davis (Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis): 
    Shifting Socio-Cultural Dynamics in Military Context: Will we know when we get…where? [Presentation PDF 860kb] 



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