Publication:
WORKING FIRE: RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF WOMEN FIREFIGHTERS

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Authors
Marques, Heather L.
Subjects
Women firefighters
diversity
gender issues
recruitment
retention
DEI
integration
mentorship.
Advisors
Brannan, David W.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
Date of Issue
2022-09
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Until the early 1970s, it was illegal for women to serve in the U.S. fire service. Since then, data have revealed that the national population of women in career structural firefighting has scarcely risen above 4 percent of the approximately 380,000 total personnel. Similar industries, such as the military and law enforcement, have increased their female hiring in recent years. By looking at the primary obstacles in fire service integration, including gender-neutral physical fitness exams, socio-cultural dynamics, parental leave issues, and promotional obstacles, this research analyzes gaps in available data as well as makes cohesive recommendations to shift focus away from recruitment and toward retention. Fire service leaders are offered models of understanding for how to identify issues within their agencies and engineer policies for improved integration of women. The thesis concludes that the successful integration of women into the fire service requires a combination of intentional leadership, male mentorship, and realistic expectations for recruitment from a historically small female candidate pool.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (CHDS)
Organization
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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