Gender balance in Fire and Emergency

Executive Summary

Male Champions of Change (MCC) Fire and Emergency Group and The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) have jointly produced a compelling report demonstrating the case for gender balance in the fire and emergency sector.

MCC Fire and Emergency Group and AFAC members have been collaborating since 2017 on gender equality initiatives. Over the past three years, there has been progress in terms of an increase in women’s leadership, but across the sector the overall pace of change has been slow and gender and other diversity gains remain difficult to achieve.

“As industry chiefs, and Male Champions of Change we are sending a message to the fire and emergency services sector that women are a part of our life, and women are part of the fire and emergency services. There should be no impediment to women playing a meaningful role – and taking up leadership roles – in any aspect of the work we do,”

Fire & Emergency organisations represented
employees and volunteers
~4 in 5 frontline service delivery roles in Fire & Emergency are held by men

The new report Gender Balance in Fire and Emergency, Going Beyond ‘it’s the right thing to do’ – the case for change’ explores the benefits and rationale in addressing key risk factors including health and safety, reputational and political risk and community engagement, through improving gender balance and other diversity in the sector.


In the report leaders from across the Fire and Emergency Sector address the common questions ‘Why does the gender composition of our workforce matter?’ and ‘Why should we dedicate time to this issue in particular?’ and together present the case for change.

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