Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell, today announced that $160,000 has been set aside for a campaign to boost gender diversity within the territory’s emergency services.
“The Government is developing and implementing a Women in Emergency Services Strategy to attract and retain more women to emergency services, particularly focusing on increasing the number of women attracted to firefighting. The initiative, which has been allocated $160,000, will be funded from the agency’s existing resources,” Mr Corbell said.
“Women within the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) currently make up 18.6 per cent of the total full time workforce and 26.4 per cent among the volunteer ranks, while women in ACT Fire & Rescue make up 2% of the total number of firefighters.
“The government wants to enhance diversity in the ESA and ensure the visibility and recognition of women, and the skills they contribute to emergency services in the ACT.
“The Women in Emergency Services Strategy will ensure the ESA builds a workforce that better reflects the community it serves, and provides an inclusive environment that respects and values all of its members, affording equitable opportunities and fully utilising the capabilities of all staff.”
The strategy will take into account feedback from staff and volunteers during a targeted internal consultation process including several workshops.
“The commissioner and chief officers are committed to the implementation of the strategy to ensure the organisational cultures embrace diversity and have welcomed the government’s support for this initiative.
“The ESA wants to be considered by women as an employer of choice across each of its services, and future recruitment efforts will specifically target women rather than previous generic media campaigns.
“It is envisioned this strategy will not only lead to a higher level of interest from women in careers within emergency services but also lead to increasing the number of women in the ESA and will hopefully facilitate more women to progress, on merit, to senior management roles. A more diverse workforce will give the ESA the capability it needs to better service the community in times of crisis.”