Diversity Management in the Armed Forces: A Comparative Study of Attitudes Towards and Experiences of Minority Members (Women, LGBTQ) in Ireland, Finland, Poland and Bulgaria.

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Anne HOLOHAN, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
EU Personnel in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building (CPPB) missions come from diverse organizations and nations, yet must coordinate together in the temporary network or umbrella organization that comprises each CPPB mission. Coordination is challenging strategically and operationally. Even if the structures to coordinate together are in place, diversity in organizations (militaries, police forces, civil organizations), gender and culture (national, ethnicity, religion) make understanding of diverse personnel, and communication and cooperation in contexts of diversity difficult yet vital in order to achieve CPPB missions' goals. Current training puts few resources into training personnel in these critical soft skills of gender awareness, cultural competency, communication and cooperation. Gaming for Peace (GAP), a H2020 project www.gap-project.eu, provides an efficient and effective means of developing and delivering a curriculum in those skills. Deriving a base curriculum from CPPB relevant soft skills and end user identified training gaps in this area, GAP designs a digital role playing game which simulates scenarios from CPPB missions.

As part of the project, in-depth interviews with over 100 peacekeeping personnel (military) from Ireland, Finland, Poland and Bulgaria were completed in the first part of 2017. One of the aims of the interviews was to discover the attitudes towards and experiences of women and LGBTQ persons in contemporary CPPB missions. This conference paper reports on the results of thematic analysis of this large data base on these issues, demonstrating the behaviours in the field in peacekeeping missions that encourage or mitigate against greater diversity and inclusivity.