Report: Changes needed in Boston’s ‘male-dominated’ fire department

Mayor Marty Walsh is proposing a firefighter cadet program to recruit and train more women in response to a new report.

BOSTON (AP) — A report prepared for city officials finds women remain chronically underrepresented and at times subject to an unwelcome work environment in the male-dominated Boston Fire Department.

Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday he would seek a number of changes, including legislation to create a firefighter cadet program to recruit and train more women.

The report, prepared by the Boston law firm of Stoneman, Chandler and Miller, also calls for changes in the culture of the department. It said male banter and “locker room talk” is a frequent occurrence in city firehouses without regularly-assigned female firefighters.

Women represent only 1 percent of Boston’s firefighting force, compared to about 4 percent nationally.

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Only 30 women have served in the department since Boston hired its female firefighter in 1984.

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