Interesting article here in the Washington Post about women in fire..with video.
“ I know a lot of women who have left fire because they did not feel supported or felt there was no room for them to grow,” Sauerbrey said. “It’s sad for me to see women who have that desire who don’t continue because of the culture. It’s hard to describe the passion people have for this job. There’s no other job I’d rather be in.”
WTREX, or Women-in-Fire Training Exchange, electrified female firefighters when it was announced. Ninety people from the United States and abroad applied for the 10-day training, and fewer than half were accepted for lack of space.
In firefighting, every bit of training is essential. It’s the path to the certifications needed to move up in rank and pay. In fire crews throughout the country, where two women are often the maximum, they are often overlooked by the men who lead them. Many are so intimidated, they don’t ask questions because guys sometimes mock them, so they don’t advance.
“This is a safe space,” said Lenya Quinn-Davidson, a University of California Cooperative Extension adviser who planned the event. “There are no wrong questions. Women feel more comfortable in this environment.”
Thanks to TNC Fire Learning Network and the supporters of women in fire..
As to the numbers, while I was still working I noticed the numbers of women going down and mentioned this to our Civil Rights folks. The math is that if you are going for Diverse People ethnic/racially and Veterans, the proportions of women interested in fire in those groups are not 1:1 (nor are they 1:1 among non-diverse people). I feel great empathy for people who are hiring with the goal of implementing all of these divergent hiring goals(all of which I support) in the workforce at the same time. Here’s to those facing those hiring challenges and to the women and Employee Relations folks who have to deal with people continuing to do the wrong thing…decade after decade.