Report on the Status of Female Fire Fighters in the Boston Fire Department
1 December 2018
Out of concern that there were so few women firefighters (16 out of approximately 1,500) and complaints from 2 female firefighters raising allegations of sexual assault and harassment, the City of Boston engaged us to investigate and assess the current status of diversity and inclusion of female firefighters in the Boston Fire Department ("BFD" or "Department") and make recommendations for improvement. To gain a broader perspective, we reviewed prior reports about the BFD and various articles on women in the fire service or related occupations from other jurisdictions. We also conducted interviews of some female and male firefighters, various past and present leaders of the BFD, and representatives from other relevant departments in the City of Boston and Boston Fire Fighter Union Local No. 718 about their experiences, perceptions and opinions about the Department's climate, culture, procedures and structures related to discrimination, harassment and retaliation.