Author: Michelle Silvestre
At Public Consulting Group (PCG) we strive for an equitable and inclusive workplace. One organization furthering these efforts in the Fire and EMS space is Women in Fire which is an interactive non-profit network that provides education, support, and advocacy for fire service women.
Did you know that only nine percent (9%) of firefighters are women in the United States? We can certainly acknowledge there are barriers that are linked to such a low percentage of women in this space. For instance, historically, efforts towards recruiting and retention may not have been marketed to women.
Gender diversity in the workforce can provide diverse experience that can help solve long-standing problems and is essential for departments to reach their full potential. When the diversity of your department coincides with the makeup of your community, your department can provide a higher level of service because your personnel better understand community needs. Gender diversity and inclusion can be the key for communities to feel seen and understood by their local fire and EMS Providers. Additionally, improved gender diversity helps with understanding the health and safety concerns for women in the field and can help improve the industry.
Is your agency doing its best to promote inclusivity and diversity in gender?
Here are some ways to be more gender inclusive.
- Promote inclusivity through training.
- Promote work life balance.
- Promote benefits that incentivize recruitment and retention.
- Provide and promote resources related to mental health, overall health, and safety.
- And more!
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is committed to supporting women and the unique challenges they face in the field. USFA also provides professional development and teaching opportunities for women in fire and EMS. For more information and resources, click here.