Improving gender balance through visibility

One of the big moments for us on social media this year was sparked by Esme, the four-year-old girl who thought only boys could be firefighters. She hadn’t seen any women firefighters, so thought she couldn’t be one.

Being influenced at an early age to think being a firefighter is not an option, is clearly one of the biggest issues preventing young girls from exploring this fulfilling career path.

Government Fire statistics released in October 2019 on women firefighters and in other roles in England, have proved there’s still some way to go before equality is reached. Of course, it’s good news there is an increase but it’s less than three percent since 2009.  

Esme’s question seems proof that the disparity between men and women is affected by the lack of visibility of women in the fire service in the media. WFS want to provide access to positive images of women to help inspire the next generation and to attract more women into a career of firefighting and other roles in the fire and rescue service. 

WFS Training & Development Event 2019

That’s why we are licensing our images for reuse. That means we freely let others copy, distribute, and display our work — if we are given credit.  

Let’s get images out there 

Perhaps your Fire and Rescue Service need strong images of women to help with education and recruitment campaigns? 

Or you might have been asked for an image to share on Twitter?

Maybe you have a niece or nephew who would like to see confident firefighters loving what they do?   

How to do it

Anybody is free to download and reuse our Flickr images for non-commercial purposes, without explicit permission. That just means if they are used on a website, for printed materials or social media etc we simply ask for recognition.

We will keep adding to our own Flickr library — and our “favourites” — so please share positive images you see with the hashtag #SeeWomenInFire and celebrate them.

Because you’ve got to see it, to be it!