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Carrier boasts top ratio

25 November 2016
Thirteen would seem to be a lucky number for the Royal Navy’s flagship of tomorrow.

Because thirteen per cent of the ship’s company of HMS Queen Elizabeth are women – believed to be the highest ratio in the Fleet.

Some 83 of the 650 or so souls assigned to the carrier are female with every rank and rate represented in this photograph (with the exception of middies, who’ll join when the ship is fully in service to conduct their training).

The nine female sailors lined up at Rosyth (a long way) in front of their ship to promote next year’s WRNS100 Centenary and the role of women in the RN of today.

Three of the 83 women are former Wrens, including air traffic controller Lt Trish Chatfield.

“I’ve been considering the differences between my first time at sea, back in 1994, and my current role on board HMS Queen Elizabeth,” she said.

“One thing I remember from my first sea draft was the fact that there weren’t any female senior rates and only a couple of junior officers serving on board at the time.

"Regardless of whether you were an able seaman), leading hand or a junior officer, we were all new to serving at sea and had no experience in this area. It was quite a challenge to be accepted by some men on board which made our early integration even harder."

It is very exciting to see that women are a key part of the Royal Navy’s newest and most anticipated project for many years.

Lt Trish Chatfield

Lt Trish Chatfield continued: “But HMS Queen Elizabeth is a very different experience. Women are represented at every rank and rate and in every department and they bring with them the vast amount of experience from their previous sea drafts across all Navy platforms – not just aircraft carriers.

"It is very exciting to see that women are a key part of the Royal Navy’s newest and most anticipated project for many years.

“Although women’s role models don’t necessarily have to be other women, the really positive aspect is that they are now serving across all branches and at all levels to help inspire future generations of both men and women.”

AB(CIS) Georgia Cocks added: “The world is changing and the Royal Navy is changing with it. “The UK now has a second female prime minister; the Navy has female mine clearance divers, pilots, engineers, navigators and in the near future, women may soon be qualifying to become combat-ready Royal Marines.

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