Study shows inequalities

Published:  01 June, 2008

A report by Cornell University’s Institute for Women and Work (New York) has found that less than three per cent of US firefighters are women, and more than half of paid fire departments have never employed a female firefighter.

This compares poorly with the average of women accounting for around 47 per cent of the US civilian workforce. In other jobs requiring strength and stamina the average is 17 per cent.

A National Report Card on Women in Firefighting is based on research and survey from 675 firefighters from 114 departments in 48 states, and includes interviews with 175 female firefighters.

The report found that 85 per cent of female firefighters interviewed felt they were treated differently; 79.7 per cent were given ill-fitting equipment even though female sizes have been available for over 10 years; 50 per cent felt shunned or socially isolated; 37 per cent were verbally harassed; and 37 per cent felt their gender was a barrier to promotion.

The report concluded, “Guided by findings from study, gender inclusion is the new standard to which departments are likely to be held. Senior fire managers need to lead their departments in resolving deficiencies proactively, before being forced to by expensive and disruptive litigation.”

The report is available on

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.