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06-03-18

NFCC pledges to #PressforProgress ahead of International Women's Day

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has pledged its support to #PressforProgress, which is theme of this year’s campaign.

 Women have played an essential role in the fire service for 80 years and have served since 1938 due to growing concerns over the onset of the Second World War. By the end of the war, more than 90,000 women had joined both the auxiliary and National Fire Service. 

We need to get away from the image of a male dominated sector, with traditional masculine roles

Roy Wilsher

 Home Office statistics show the number of wholetime female firefighters in England has increased from 424 (2002) to 1,278 (2017), which represents an increase of 4.2 per cent.

 Women also make up 12 per cent of wholetime new entrants. In addition, female staff make up 52.5 per cent of support staff in fire and rescue services across England.

 Roy Wilsher, NFCC Chair, said: “NFCC actively supports initiatives which increases diversity across the fire service and it is a key strand of work for our national Workforce committee which works across the UK on a wide range of projects.  I know fire and rescue services are actively encouraging women to work in the sector during recruitment drives and are carrying out some fantastic campaigns.

 “Our views are very clear on this; if we are to continue to develop a representative fire service – and our national People Strategy addresses a range of topics which will aid in achieving this – I also believe the national media can play a key role in helping fire and rescue services to achieve this; including no longer using the word ‘fireman’.  We have a number of highly inspirational female staff and we want to encourage more women to join the fire service and to do to this, we need to get away from image of a male dominated sector, with traditional masculine roles.”

 “We have seen an increase in female firefighters in recent years of more than four per cent, which is very encouraging when you take into account there has been limited recruitment since 2010. While I acknowledge there is still some way to go to increase these numbers, it is imperative we are giving the correct impression of the service, and not disengaging the firefighters of the future.

 NFCC – which represents all UK fire and rescue services – pledged its support for the United Nations #HeForShe campaign, created by UN Women (the United Nations entity for gender quality) which is a worldwide movement to end inequality of opportunity and quality of life because of gender.

A number of fire services across the country are actively carrying out work to support this campaign, while all fire and rescue services are working hard to encourage a more inclusive workforce. NFCC also supported the #FirefightingSexism campaign started by London Fire Brigade last autumn which was driven by London Commissioner Dany Cotton.

 This year’s International Women’s Day is focusing on #PressforProgress which is a call to action to press forward and progress gender parity -  including status and pay – uniting friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

 According to the world Economic Forum’s 2017 global Gender Gap report, gender parity is more than 200 years away, meaning there has never been a more important time to continue to press for progress, which coincides with a number of high profile campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Home Office statistics show the number of wholetime female firefighters in England has increased from 424 (2002) to 1,278 (2017), which represents 5.5 per cent of the workforce and an increase of 4.2 per cent. Women also make up 12 per cent of wholetime new entrants. In addition, female staff make up 52.5 per cent of support staff in fire and rescue services across England.

 Roy Wilsher, NFCC Chair, said: “NFCC actively supports initiatives which increases diversity across the fire service and it is a key strand of work for our national Workforce committee which works across the UK on a wide range of projects.  I know fire and rescue services are actively encouraging women to work in the sector during recruitment drives and are carrying out some fantastic campaigns.

 "Our views are very clear on this; if we are to continue to develop a representative fire service - and our national People Strategy addresses a range of topics which will aid in achieving this - I also believe the national media can play a key role in helping fire and rescue services to achieve this; including no longer using the word ‘fireman’.  We have a number of highly inspirational female staff and we want to encourage more women to join the fire service and to do to this, we need to get away from the image of a male dominated sector, with traditional masculine roles.”

 “We have seen an increase in female firefighters in recent years of more than four per cent, which is very encouraging when you take into account there has been limited recruitment since 2010. While I acknowledge there is still some way to go to increase these numbers, it is imperative we are giving the correct impression of the service, and not disengaging the firefighters of the future.

 “I am proud to be part of a sector which has so much to give; I want to ensure we are representative of the communities we serve, while offering everyone who works across the fire service opportunities in a career to be proud of.”

 NFCC - which represents all UK fire and rescue services - pledged its support for the United Nations HeForShe campaign, created by UN Women (the United Nations entity for gender quality) which is a worldwide movement to end inequality of opportunity and quality of life because of gender.

A number of fire services across the country are actively carrying out work to support this campaign, while all fire and rescue services are working hard to encourage a more inclusive workforce. NFCC also supported the #FirefightingSexism campaign started by London Fire Brigade last autumn which was driven by London Commissioner Dany Cotton. 

  • This year’s International Women’s Day is focusing on  #PressforProgress which is a call to action to press forward and progress gender parity -  including status and pay – uniting friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
  •   According to the world Economic Forum’s 2017 global Gender Gap report, gender parity is more than 200 years away, meaning there has never been a more important time to continue to press for progress, which coincides with a number of high profile campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp.
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