CFB Esquimalt will be the host of Operation: This IS You! an initiative from Achieve Anything, a mainland-based organization dedicated to inspiring future female leaders in the fields of aviation, aerospace, marine and defence. (Submitted)

CFB Esquimalt will be the host of Operation: This IS You! an initiative from Achieve Anything, a mainland-based organization dedicated to inspiring future female leaders in the fields of aviation, aerospace, marine and defence. (Submitted)

‘Achieve Anything’ : Women and girls get hands-on learning at CFB Esquimalt

Day sail on a warship will open up fields of marine, defence and engineering to inspire females

You can be anything you set your mind to – that’s what we were all told as children. But what if that mind isn’t peppered with all the world has to offer, because you’re a girl?

Pilot Kirsten Brazier, president of the Achieve Anything Foundation is changing that with her gender diversity initiative, aimed at bringing the fields of aviation, aerospace, marine and defence to girls and women of all ages.

RELATED: Victoria sheet metal worker honoured with B.C. Construction Leadership Awards

“For most girls and women, this isn’t on their radar,” Brazier says. “They don’t realize how cool it would be to be on a warship until they get there. It’s hard for them to imagine things they’ve never seen and heard of.”

Part of the foundation’s work is Operation: This IS You! which began in October 2017 and has since worked with the Canadian Coast Guard, Vancouver Police and at the Vancouver Airport to bring women and girls on site for a day of hands-on learning to inspire careers in fields still heavily dominated by men.

RELATED: Breaking boundaries: Canadian woman serves the military and God

Operation: This IS You! sets sail on a warship from CFB Esquimalt, Oct. 20. The day includes a search and rescue with the Air Force’s brand new Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, followed by tours of ship duty stations, crew quarters and operational equipment, ship firefighting simulation, and a demonstration of the warship’s manoeuvring capabilities.

The Canadian Forces is a large organization rooted in tradition, but they’re trying to change, says Brazier, who estimates the number of women stationed on warships is roughly 15 per cent.

“The objective is to put them out in the field with tools in their hands,” she says, adding if they don’t come away ignited to join the navy, they will still have learned about other occupations like firefighting, medics, navigation engineering. “Jobs that are on boats, but not necessarily in the navy.”

RELATED: Joining the new wave of women in trades

For those interested, the trans-inclusive free program is open to women and girls 12 years or older. To apply, visit AchieveAnything.ca and answer a few preliminary questions.

For Brazier, a successful venture isn’t when the day ends with future recruits, but just providing the opportunity for women and girls to see what’s out there and to imagine themselves in an exciting and challenging role.

“You need to actually give these girls and women taste of what they might experience to actually get them interested,” she says. “A woman in uniform doesn’t mean anything if she’s not standing beside her ship or her aircraft.”


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CFB Esquimalt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff celebrate the opening of the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre adjacent to Royal Jubilee Hospital in March 2001. (Photo provided by Provincial Health Services Authority)
Victoria cancer centre marks two decades of saving lives

BC Cancer – Victoria is B.C.’s second largest cancer centre

“Racing Classics” by John Horton depicts sailboats near Trial Island off the coast of Oak Bay. The painting will be featured in his <em>Maritime Impressions</em> exhibit at the Winchester Gallery until April 14.
Greater Victoria galleries beckon spring with vibrant, whimsical nature scenes

At The Galleries: look at what’s on display this month

Katie Hamilton is one of three Victoria residents receiving a $10,000 podcast production grant from Telus Storyhive. Her podcast, Her Love of Sport, will take listeners through stories from women in the sports industry. (Courtesy of Katie Hamilton)
Three local podcasts coming to Victoria following Telus Storyhive grants

Victoria podcasts chosen out of 700 applications to receive $10,000

Victoria Gyro Club member George Barr stands beside the club’s Victoria Day parade float in the late 1950s. The trailer carried a sign advertising the Gyros’ popular hole in one fundraiser game, which raised money for the purchase of Gyro Park lands at Cadboro Bay. (Courtesy Victoria Gyro Club)
Victoria Gyro Club celebrates 100 years of friendship, building community

Club planned to mark centennial with an online meeting April 5

April 11 to 17 is Emergency Management BC’s Tsunami Preparedness Week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tsunami preparation in the forefront across Greater Victoria

Tsunami Preparedness Week runs April 11 to 17

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read