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 WOW July | Tuesday, July 21

Noon to 1:30 p.m. CDT

Holiday Inn

4800 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale

 

Jamie Xayavong, Fire Chief

Women in Fire Service


Even as women forge their own paths and break glass ceilings in every industry these days, women in the fire service continues to be a rarity. When we look at today’s statistics, the United States has 29,700 fire stations with over a million active firefighters, but only 8% of those are women and only 4% are considered to be in a career setting as a firefighter. When looking at leadership, out of approximately 18,000 Fire Chiefs in our country, only 150 of them are women. As one of the few women Fire Chiefs, I look at the reasons why my gender’s ratio is so low in our field. The reasoning can include skepticism about competence, having an emotional attachment, and sexual harassment. In an all male’s work environment, women can feel discouraged to join. In my position, I work to impart knowledge of what a career in fire service entails and the benefits of serving a community to men and women. I lead by example to show women they are capable and their skills are as needed in fire service as men’s are needed.

 

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 11:30 a.m. - Arrival and Networking (Optional) 
Noon - 1 p.m. - Lunch, Presentation & Commercials
1 - 1:30 p.m. - Optional Networking

 

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