In the community
As you would expect the number of men and women in the community are approximately the same and fairly evenly distributed. However, there are significantly more men than women injured or killed in fires. We are undertaking some in-depth research into how people behave when they discover a fire in the home. The initial findings show that men are more likely to try and tackle the fire themselves which can lead to them being injured or worse.
We advise people to get out, dial 999 and stay out until the fire service arrives but people, and men, in particular, are not always following this advice. We are therefore considering whether there are other ways to reinforce this advice or whether we should change our message.
In the workplace
- Nationally, fire services are traditionally male-dominated and currently, over 85 per cent of our workforce is male.
- To improve female representation we have proactively encouraged female recruits and with 53, we now have more wholetime female firefighters than any other non-metropolitan fire and rescue service in the United Kingdom (Data source: 2011 Department for Communities and Local Government annual returns).
- On the non-operational side, the majority of our staff are female. We also actively encourage women to progress within the organisation - around 48 per cent of our senior managers are women, including our chief executive.
- Our equal opportunities policies and processes help us prevent discrimination in the workplace, and we have a range of flexible working arrangements which enable parents to combine work and family commitments.