TWFRS hosts Gender Equality Conference

Date13 September 2017

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is hosting a national conference: Promoting Excellence in Gender Equality. The conference, which is being held (tomorrow) at its Barmston Headquarters on September 14th, 2017 is aiming to ensure that gender equality continues to improve within the workplace.

Although it was over 42 years ago that the UK introduced the Equal Pay Act and the Sex Discrimination Act, gender inequality has not gone away. Whether it’s the BBC paying its female staff less than its male staff or London Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer, Dany Cotton, having to take to Twitter to rebuke the media for using the word firemen rather than firefighters – it’s clear that we still have some way to go to truly gain gender parity in the workplace.


TWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther, who is chairing the conference, commented:


“We need to challenge and move away from giving professions a gender bias. Any child today should be inspired by the career they want to follow not whether it is a role believed to be more suitable for a particular gender. 

"We have male midwives and female police commissionersand we need to learn from our partners in emergency services and other sectors on improving gender equality and how best to tackle the barriers that stop us achieving gender balance in the workforce.

"It’s great that so many top people in their profession have given up their time to speak at the conference; bringing their own experiences of working in gender-dominated professions, transitioning whilst working in the emergency services as well as sharing their views on leadership and gender and how the law and good practice is supporting gender equality.”


The conference speakers include:

·         Rebecca Bryant, Chief Fire Officer, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

·         Shantha Dickinson, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

·         Sergeant Gina Denham, Essex Police

·         Gillian Danby, Teesside University

·         Paul Scope, Employment Law Partner, Ward Hadaway

Above photo shows Firefighters Jade Makarski (based West Denton), Vicky Haswell (Prevention & Education, Service HQ) and Sarah Iceton (Gateshead).