This Action Plan was developed through wide consultation with departmental employees including feedback processes, research, and discussions with similar organisations across Australia already on the journey to improving their gender diversity.
In February 2018, a Gender Diversity in Fire Working Group was established to develop the action plan and associated processes. The working group included representatives from across the department. In March 2018, a survey was distributed to staff who are involved in fire management roles in a fulltime capacity, on occasion or not at all. The survey was undertaken to better understand why the number of women in fire was underrepresented and what issues, perceptions, biases, and barriers were contributing to this imbalance.
Following the survey, two workshops were held on 9 and 16 May 2018 with over 50 staff participating. The workshops provided a forum to share the survey findings and discuss potential themes and leverage off the collective experience of participants to develop strategies for inclusion in the plan.
Both the survey and the workshops provided forums to share experiences and workable solutions to facilitate change.