There are seven jobs within the United States Air Force that are not open to women, but Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James hopes to have that changed within 18 months.
On Monday, James announced that the Air Force is attempting to establish gender-neutral standards for the positions, which include combat rescue officer and enlisted combat controller, The Associated Press reports. "That is to say, whatever the standard is, it would be the same for men and women," James said. She also noted that the Air Force has more jobs open to women than any other military branch.
James says that, among other things, she is looking at ways to combat the fact that women with mid-career positions are leaving the Air Force at twice the rate of their male counterparts. "We need to bore down and figure out why that is happening and how we can turn that around," she said.