Fire and Emergency tracking progress to equality
8 March 2023
The annual report from the Champions of Change Fire and Emergency Group shows sustained progress in women’s representation across the fire and emergency sector over the past five years.
The Champions of Change Fire and Emergency 2022 Progress Report, released today, provides transparency and accountability for the individual and collective actions taken by Member organisations to accelerate gender equality, and includes case studies on growing the talent pool and fostering safe and inclusive workplace cultures .
“We need the best people throughout all our emergency service organisations – and by definition, the best people include a rich variety of backgrounds and perspectives that build strong and effective teams,” says NSW State Emergency Service Commissioner, Carlene York APM.
“While we know that sustainable change takes time, it is important to reflect on the progress that has been made toward greater gender equality in our sector. We must now use this momentum and generate even more as we strive to enable inclusive, equitable organisations,” says AFAC CEO, Rob Webb.
A five-year view on women’s representation
The Group has been focused on growing the talent pool with 95.8% of Member organisations having systems and structures in place to address bias and ensure equality in their recruitment and promotion processes.
Overall, women’s representation across the sector has increased:
- 26.5% women’s representation achieved overall across the Group in 2022, up from 22.5% in 2018
- 33.0% women’s representation achieved in Key Management Personnel (CEO-1) roles overall across the Group in 2022, up from 26.9% in 2018
- 37.6% women’s representation achieved in General Manager roles overall, up from 25.6% in 2018
- 34.6% women’s representation achieved in Senior Manager roles across the Group in 2022, up from 21.9% in 2018
In frontline service delivery roles, there has been some progress in women’s representation, however there are also areas of decline which will remain areas of focus and priority for the Group.
- 22.2% women’s representation achieved across frontline service delivery roles, up from 20.7% in 2018
- 21.0% women’s representation achieved in Key Management Personnel (CEO-1) frontline service delivery roles, up from 9.6% in 2018
- 8.4% women’s representation in General Manager roles in frontline service delivery, down from 16.5% in 2018
- 10.6% women’s representation in Senior Manager roles in frontline service delivery, down from 18.6% in 2018
“Sustained commitment to gender equality across the Fire and Emergency Group has driven important progress over the past five years. Key to this is doing more to make our workplaces free from discrimination and harassment and creating environments that are truly inclusive,” says Convenor of the Champions of Change Fire and Emergency Group, Kristen Hilton.
Creating respectful, inclusive workplaces for all employees
- 91.7% of Board and/or executive leadership teams have committed to eradicate sexual harassment and articulated their zero-tolerance position.
- 87.5% of Member organisations have workplace health and safety strategies and processes that been adapted to incorporate sexual harassment.
Mainstreaming flexibility in work and care
- 83.3%of Members have mainstreamed flexible work with policy, tools and technology and leadership support.
- 95.8% of Members have policies or initiatives in place to enable flexible access to parental leave for all parents.
“We still have work to do to ensure we are harnessing the enormous talent and experience that women bring to our organisations and creating workplaces where they feel they belong,” says Convenor of the Champions of Change Fire and Emergency Group, Kristen Hilton
About Champions of Change Fire and Emergency Group
The Champions of Change Fire and Emergency Group was established in April 2017 with support from AFAC, as the National Council for fire and emergency services. The Group is convened by the former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Kristen Hilton. It includes Chief Executives, Commissioners and Chief Fire Officers leading 32 agencies responsible for fire, emergency and land management services across Australia and New Zealand who lead some 126,000 employees and volunteers. Involvement in the Champions of Change strategy supports and strengthens AFAC’s wider focus on diversity and inclusion.
About The Champions of Change Coalition
The Champions of Change Coalition includes CEOs, secretaries of government departments, non-executive directors and community leaders who believe gender equality is a major business, economic, societal and human rights issue. The Champions of Change Coalition is a globally recognised, innovative strategy for achieving gender equality, advancing more and diverse women in leadership and building respectful and inclusive workplaces. Established in 2010 by Elizabeth Broderick AO, our mission is to achieve gender equality and a significant and sustainable increase in the representation of women in leadership. The Champions of Change Coalition brings together more than 260 leaders from 230 organisations with over 1.4 million employees across 155 countries.