In 2016, the then Home Secretary Theresa May criticised the UK Fire and Rescue Services of being 96% white and 95% male. Since then, attempts have been made to increase equality and diversity, predominantly by focusing on fairness for legally protected groups and recruitment of under-represented groups. Some progress has been made: for example, there are now three female Chief Fire Officers for the very first time, representing the progress that has allowed women to hold the highest positions. However, there is still much to do.
At FIRE magazine, we champion diversity and equality within the fire service. We proudly support London Fire Brigade’s #firefightingsexism campaign; at our annual Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards we recognise both influential women and influential BAME individuals and we have now partnered with the Asian Fire Service Association to bring you a Congress on Changing the Face of the Fire and Rescue Service.
We believe that this Congress will help us move the discussion beyond compliance with the law to a more inclusion focused agenda, in order to permanently transform the fire and rescue service for the better.
The Congress on Changing the Face of the Fire and Rescue Service will focus on four key themes:
- Recruit differently
- Manage differently
- Promote differently
- Collaborate differently
By looking at these processes and actions in a different way, a more equal and diverse workforce can be created, one which encourages inclusivity in order to build a more sustainable fire and rescue service.
This event has kindly been sponsored by Babcock.