Women’s shopping habits are being studied in a ploy to attract more female recruits into Australia's defence, new reports suggest.
New details have emerged of the Chief of Army encouraging Australian Defence Force recruiters to learn how women shop, for tips on attracting them to roles including frontline combat, News Corp has reported.
Hirers were told understanding the differences between the genders, and learning what motivated women, would help attract more to military positions.
News of the bizarre recruitment ploy comes a day after it was revealed a quota had been placed on hiring women in the army, navy and air force, at the expense of men.
News Corp earlier reported ADF staff were told to recruit only women, including in frontline combat roles, under threat of being reassigned if they ignore the directive in an attempt to increase the number of female soldiers in its ranks.
The move had reportedly been described as “political correctness gone mad” by defence insiders.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne yesterday however refuted claims of a military man ban, after it was revealed a quota had been placed on recruitment of women in the army, navy and air force.
"We don't have enough women in the armed forces and we are trying to encourage more to be a part of that society, but there is no banning of men being recruited," he said.
Lieutenant General Angus Campbell encouraged recruiters in Canberra last year to glean information about women’s personalities from a local study called Men Buy, Women Shop, News Corp revealed.
“The report found clear gender differences in approach,” he told the hirers.
“Men ‘want to go to the shop, buy the thing, and get out,’” he said.
Lt Gen Campbell reportedly told recruiters the study findings had “clear implications” the military could exploit in their recruitment drive.
“I think we can reasonably extrapolate these ‘sales’ issues to our ‘sales’ of Army careers,” he said.
He shared an insight from one woman from the study who said: “I love shopping. I love shopping even when I have a deadline. I just love shopping.”
Recruiters were reportedly told insights like women valuing “sales assistants who make them feel important” was something the ADF could tap into.
The man ban comes after the army boss made his intention known to double the number of women in the defence force to 25 per cent by 2025.
An AFD recruiter yesterday told News Corp men could apply for advertised positions, “but only women will get the job.”
Last week's list of Army jobs on offer included 50 roles, 35 of which were only available to women, the report said.
The navy and air force are said to be facing similar quotas.
Only one of 18 navy jobs listed for the next six months is open to men and the air force has none at all.