German Navy looks into why so few women join the service

The German Navy currently has only 160 female officers wearing dark blue uniforms as opposed to 4,000 of their male counterparts.

Given the fact that women were allowed to enter professional service in 2001, the numbers as they currently stand are not to the liking of the Inspector of the German Navy, Vice Admiral Andreas Krause.

It was only in 2014 that the German Navy received its first female submarine officer when 27-year-old (at the time) Janine Asseln joined the Type 212 U31 submarine as the 4th watch officer.

Krause has therefore initiated a workshop with the goal of making Navy service more attractive for women. Navy officials will meet in September 2016 to analyze the current situation for women in service with the naval forces.

“We (as a service) are obviously not properly aligned for female regulars. We want to see why that is the case in order to improve things,” said Vice Admiral Andreas Krause. “I would like to see more women in leadership positions at the navy in the future.”

The attractiveness measures initiated by the German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen have made significant impact on the defense forces’ appeal on soldiers. Many steps aimed at reconciling family and service like flextime and teleworking tasks cannot, however, be adequately implemented on board navy ships.

With the announced workshop the Inspector of the Navy now wants to make sure what it is that makes women turn away from the navy.