Message from the Defence Champion for Women on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2023 – Defence Stories

International Women's Day 2023


Every day, women on the Defence Team are serving as both leaders in their fields and role models in their communities. Together, we play an important role, building a stronger and more inclusive Defence Team that better reflects the society it serves. As today marks International Women’s Day, it’s important that we take time to celebrate our many contributions and significant achievements, and that we keep our sights set on a more equitable, more equal future.

Women’s involvement in the Canadian military, through the military or public service, has long been an important part of our national heritage. Today, Canada is a world leader when it comes to military gender integration – a fact that is owed in large part to the determination and dedication of women in uniform throughout the past 100 years. What’s more, women now serve with distinction in all occupations within the Department of National Defence, as civilians and Canadian Armed Forces members, including in combat operations. 

It’s an immense privilege to work with so many women who are key actors in building our future. I know that our collective success is dependent on women’s full involvement in our military and all our national institutions. The Canadian Armed Forces was one of the first military forces to allow women to serve in all occupations, and we have set ambitious goals to increase representation across all trades and ranks. This starts with creating and maintaining a work environment that is equitable, professional and, above all, respectful. Senior leaders must also be committed, and continually examine opportunities to empower women within the Department of National Defence and Canadian society.

With this in mind, I’d like to remind everyone of our obligations to stay up-to-date on training, especially Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) Plus. Being able to apply GBA Plus to our work helps us develop and support equitable policies, programs, and services, for the well-being of the Defence Team and Canadians. As military members and public servants, we all need to do our part, through initiatives such as GBA Plus, and by committing to continuous learning.

While we continue to embrace equity, fight for full equality, and address gaps within our organization, it’s also important we take the time to celebrate women’s achievements and be inspired (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website). Within the Defence Team, women are continuously demonstrating strong leadership and paving the way for the next generation. The contributions we make to our military, our public service, and our country, are proof that women are essential players in building our future

Thank you, women of the Defence Team, for all you do.

Major-General Bourgon, CMM, MSC, CD
Acting Commander, Military Personnel Command

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