WASHINGTON (NNS) — The 2018 Personal and Professional Choices Survey results were released by the Chief of Naval Personnel’s office of inclusion and diversity, July 25.
The biennial Personal and Professional Choices Survey, formerly named the Pregnancy and Parenthood Survey, provides leadership with information from Sailors on retention, work/life balance, family planning, childcare, pregnancy and other related issues.
The data gathered from the survey helps Navy track the trends and impact of personnel policies, not only on individual Sailors and their families, but also on Navy readiness.
Both men and women were surveyed to gather their opinions and concerns on Navy life and family issues. Survey results show reasons for staying or leaving the Navy were similar for both women and men.
The 2018 survey was sent to a randomly selected group of 29,103 women and 49,800 men on active duty, representing 48 percent and 19 percent of the active duty force, respectively. The survey produced 12,682 useable responses, with a 16 percent response rate and a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.
Some of the key takeaways from participants of the 2018 survey include:
* Men and women have similar influencers to stay Navy, including job security/stability, pay/benefits, retirement and service to nation. Men and women have similar influencers to leave the service as well, including family impact, work/life balance and schedule predictability.
* Men and women find it difficult to balance a Navy career with a personal life, and policies intended to improve life/work balance need to be directed to all Sailors. Forty-five percent of unmarried men and 52 percent of unmarried women report being in the Navy has reduced the likelihood that they will get married, while 41 percent of men without children and 49 percent of women without children report that being in the Navy has reduced the likelihood that they will have or adopt children.
* Experiences and perceptions vary widely between men and women, and parents and non-parents. 55 percent of women think having children negatively impacts the careers of women, compared to only 26 percent of men.
* Women in the Navy are less likely than men to be married or have children. Of Sailors who are married, women are more likely to be in a dual-military relationship.
* Approximately 9 percent of women in the Navy are pregnant at any point in time, and 17 percent of women had a pregnancy in the past year. Approximately 76 percent of female officer and 47 percent of female enlisted pregnancies are planned.
* Although 25 percent of women were attached to a deployable unit when they found out they were pregnant, only 15 percent of these women were actually deployed at the time.
* Fifty-one percent of women who were transferred to a new command due to pregnancy felt valued by their new command, but only 34 percent were transferred to a career-enhancing position.
* The percentage of single parents in the Navy is increasing (10 percent of women and 1 percent of men), indicating that the Navy is becoming more single-parent friendly.
* Women are more likely than men to embark on the adoption process without a partner and more likely to not complete the process due to work-related factors.
* Women are significantly less likely than their male peers to have children. The percentage of men and women in the Navy who are parents is relatively similar through age 28 (32 percent), at which time the percentage of female parents begins to significantly lag behind the percentage of male parents. Women’s parenthood rates later increase between the ages of 33 to 35 to 68 percent, compared to 75 percent for men of the same age.
* While most Sailors think Navy provides adequate information on how to access birth control, only 44 percent think there is enough information on birth control side effects and 36 percent think there is enough information on how to access emergency contraception.
* Of women who use birth control, 89 percent received enough to last the entire length of their most recent deployment, a slight increase from the 2016 survey.
* Although most women (54 percent) are satisfied with the quality of military OB/GYN care, only 48 percent report having easy access to OB/GYN care regardless of duty station, and only 22 percent have easy access while on shore duty.
* While 61 percent of Sailors report hearing their command’s leaders talk about work/life balance, only 47 percent see their command’s leaders demonstrate work/life balance.
A summary of the survey can be found at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/inclusion/Pages/Resources.aspx.