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Empowering you!

Empowering you!


16 Nov, 2020

RFEA is offering new services to give more employment support to military women, spouses and partners …

RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity is now able to offer more support to military women, as well as the partners and spouses of serving and ex-Forces personnel.

Research shows that female veterans, as well as partners and spouses of those serving in the Armed Forces, face more barriers to finding meaningful employment than most – they often step off their career pathways to take on greater caring responsibilities and, unlike their male counterparts, can undervalue their experience and may deselect themselves from roles they are suitable for. Frequent moves, relatively isolated locations, employer reluctance and the complexities of building a normal career often mean that many military spouses and partners (both male and female) can also face unique challenges getting back into work.

Led by a team of specialist employment advisors, RFEA now has two dedicated programmes committed to providing tailored support to both ex-Service women (the Military Women Programme), and military spouses and partners (the Families Programme), offering everything they need to be successful in their employment search, whether that be CV advice, interview skills or help with finding suitable employment opportunities.

On 24 November RFEA will be hosting Empowering You, a unique two-hour webinar that will be led by a range of business leaders from a variety of organisations, including major household names such as Amazon and Vodafone. During the session they will share tips designed to boost attendees’ employability and help them find meaningful roles. These will cover:

  • understanding your skills and capabilities
  • how to stand out and market yourself effectively
  • resilience in a COVID-competitive job market
  • flexible working
  • employment opportunities and initiatives. 

Claire Gratton served for 22 years in the RAF and sought support from RFEA’s Military Women Programme. She says: ‘My advisor has helped me rediscover my professional worth. I felt at ease immediately and our first contact phone call lasted for over an hour. By the end of the call I was in no doubt I had made the right choice by enquiring about the Military Women Programme. My advisor has the ability to connect with you in a way no pure civvy advisor ever could: part big sister, part friend, part comrade, she will help you see your value and give you the mentorship to realise your skill set. I thoroughly recommend RFEA to any ex-Service woman, and I hope this programme grows and continues to help out the female veteran.’

Video link: click here to watch Claire talking about how the programme has helped her.

Annette Berry (pictured left), RFEA’s Military Women employment advisor, who served in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps before embarking on a civilian career, adds: ‘I really understand what it’s like to be a woman in the military. I know how important, unique and valuable the skills are that are acquired during a Forces career and, therefore, how those attributes translate to a civilian career. With this programme, we will support ex-Service women with everything they need to be successful in their employment search, whether that be CV advice, interview skills or help with finding suitable employment opportunities. Through the Military Women Programme, we will also expand opportunities for sustainable employment to suit individual career paths and requirements, by actively seeking out female-focused employment initiatives and promoting the benefits of employing female veterans.’

Video link: click here to watch Annette talking about the Military Women Programme

Lee Johnston (second from the right in our main picture at the top of the page), families employment advisor at RFEA says, ‘Whether it’s in terms of welfare, family or deployment, I can completely empathise with the challenges our clients face, because, as the wife of a Royal Marine, I’ve experienced them myself. That’s why I am so passionate about getting our clients to where they want to be.’

Video link: click here to watch Lee explaining how the Families Programme can help you.

Alistair Halliday (pictured right), chief executive of RFEA, continues: ‘Times are really tough for a lot of people at the moment, so it’s so important that we are able to reach those who need our help, and we simply wouldn’t be able to do this without the incredibly generous support of our donors. We are extremely grateful to the Call of Duty Endowment and Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund, the Lloyd’s market military charity. Thanks to their help, RFEA will now be able to extend its reach across the country, to ensure it can help even more ex-Service women and military partners/spouses into meaningful employment, the impact of which can be life changing.’


If you are seeking employment support or would like further information about RFEA’s Empowering You event, please click here

About RFEA

RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity exists to provide lifelong, life-changing support, job opportunities and training to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service or reason for leaving.

Founded in 1885 and operating across the UK, we have the specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment. We work in partnership with other organisations and employers who, like us, respect and value the unique qualities and abilities of all those who have served.

Follow RFEA on Twitter and Facebook


Main image: The RFEA’s families advisor Lee Johnston, second from the right, with other members of the Families Programme team