Making U.S. Fire Departments More Diverse and Inclusive

Making U.S. Fire Departments More Diverse and Inclusive

Harvard Business Review

"To succeed as a firefighter, stereotypically masculine traits like brawn and courage are simply not enough. Firefighters also need the intellectual, social, and emotional skills required to deliver medical emergency aid, support each other through traumatic experiences, and engage intimately with the communities they serve. In short, successful firefighters embody a complex mix of skills and traits. And yet, in my research on reducing gender bias and my work conducting training on general diversity and inclusion with fire departments, I find that, when evaluating fit and competence, firefighters tend to default to a reductive set of traits (physical strength evaluated through strict fitness tests, for example) that serve to maintain white men’s dominance in the fire service.”

Source: Bendersky, Corinne (2018). Harvard Business Review and available from this link (personal registration with HBR required).

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