Fire and Security
The fire and security sector has a massive gender imbalance. According to recent government figures, in England only 16% of all staff in fire services are women. And the security side is no better: a 2017 report found that only 11% of security professionals worldwide are women.
The report also revealed that men in the sector are nine times more likely to be promoted to managerial level, and receive higher pay at all levels, despite women reporting higher levels of education.
What is it that’s holding women back so drastically? Is it that they doubt their own abilities and think fire and security roles are for men? Not necessarily. The real problem may be the profession’s lack of status and prestige.
The big push to recruit women into STEM has largely missed the fire and security sector. This leaves the few women who do enter the sector feeling like outsiders both among women engineers and among their male colleagues. 51% of women in the ISC2 survey said they’d experienced discrimination at work, and employee retention for women is understandably low.
So rather than women needing to prove themselves in fire and security, the fire and security sector needs to prove itself to women. And this isn’t just women’s problem – it’s everyone’s problem, as the talent drought worsens and increasing numbers of studies prove companies that lack diversity lose up to 41% of potential revenue.
How to solve this? We need to spotlight powerful female role models in the industry and to engage companies, universities and government organisations in the drive to recruit and retain women.
The first step is outreach to young girls – and we do mean young girls. Microsoft found girls are losing interest in STEM by their early teens. We need to start at elementary level to keep them inspired.
Technical Resources encourage more women to apply for Fire and Security roles as diversity and equality only boosts a company's productivity. We aim to strengthen the industry by inviting more women to be introduced into the fire and security sector. View our latest vacancies within Fire and Security or call us for a chat, we would love to hear from you! 01932 837777