Advancing gender equality in fire and emergency services

19 November 2020
Image of a female firefighter with the text "There is a clear case for change for more diversity and inclusion".

A new report released today by the Male Champions of Change (MCC) (External link) Fire and Emergency Group and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) (External link), is working to improve diversity and inclusion in the emergency management sector for generations to come. 

Gender Balance in Fire and Emergency, Going Beyond ‘it’s the right thing to do’ – the case for change, aims to drive behavioural and cultural change by calling for more inclusive work environments to attract and retain diverse talent and help organisations better understand and serve communities. 

As a Male Champion of Change, Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said everyone across the entire sector must take action to accelerate change.

“An emergency management sector that reflects the community we serve will benefit us all. It is critical that we commit to working with everyone across our emergency management sector to advocate for and champion gender equality and diversity,” says Commissioner Crisp.

Achieving gender equality and workforce diversity is not only the ‘fair’ and ‘right thing to do’, it’s also linked to improved overall performance. 

The devastating fires of last summer brought into sharp focus the importance of evolving the roles of firefighter and emergency service responders. As responsibilities expand to include prevention, preparedness, incident response and recovery, fire and emergency teams now need new and different skills and capabilities. 

The report addresses eight key risk factors in the sector: 

  • health and safety 
  • operational and service delivery 
  • economic 
  • social 
  • public safety 
  • reputational 
  • political and legal 
  • legislative issues. 

Read the full report (External link)