The story of Lieutenant Commander Kristy-Lee Cocks is becoming increasingly common across the RAN.
"I joined at 17 and life was good!" she said.
"Inevitably, life changes and family begins to play a greater role in your decision making, but having kids doesn’t have to mean you give up your professional aspirations."
Today, Lieutenant Commander Cocks joined other professional men and women to discuss how this can be achieved. The Committee for Economic Development in Australia (CEDA) - Women in Leadership Forum was held in Canberra to discuss why gender inequality persists in the workplace and how to tackle it.
"It was a perfect opportunity to highlight the Navy’s attitude towards female inclusion," Lieutenant Commander Cocks said.
"Throughout my career, Navy has demonstrated a positive and inclusive attitude towards women returning to work.
"After having children, my organisation was very supportive in creating opportunities for flexible work arrangements as I transitioned back to full-time work.
"That flexible approach is creating alternate career pathways within a career continuum to promote women in leadership roles."
Kristy hopes the CEDA event has shone a light on the Navy’s ongoing commitment to achieve gender equality and equity at every level.
"Promoting strong and diverse role models within the Navy is paramount in achieving our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy," she said.
"This event has generated discussion around how best to empower these positive role models.
"Ultimately, workplace flexibility is an operational enhancer – Navy needs the people and I love my work so everyone wins!"
The topics of equality and inclusion are keys facets of the Navy’s involvement with the 100 Days for Change program. Women in leadership events and fleet-wide activities supporting the program are positive examples of Navy’s commitment to 100 Days for Change.
For Navy members, further information on 100 Days for Change can be found at: http://drnet/navy/navywomensstrategy/Pages/Home.aspx