Steve scoops women’s ‘ally’ award

Congratulations to everyone recognised with a ‘Women In The Fire Service’ (WFS) award this week - including one of our own officers, Steve Harris.



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Published on 20 June 2020

Congratulations to everyone recognised with a ‘Women In The Fire Service’ (WFS) award this week – including one of our own officers!

Men and women were among the recipients, all hailed for championing women in the fire and rescue sector.

Group Manager Steve Harris, who heads up our Organisational Learning and People Development, was recognised for having gone the extra mile to promote gender equality in our organisation and for helping his female colleagues to realise their potential.

He said he was “pleased and honoured” to receive his ‘Men as allies’ runner-up award.

“It’s humbling to know that colleagues took the time to nominate me and I thank them for it,” he said. “Encouraging and supporting everyone to develop themselves and to continually learn is a passion of mine. It’s very nice to be seen as an ally for the Women in the Fire Service network.”

Women continue to be under-represented in the UK fire and rescue sector, with just six per cent of operational firefighters being female.

Here at West Midlands Fire Service we are committed to a having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities, and one that is welcoming to all. We are proud of our recruitment and selection processes.

Through an approach known as ‘positive action’ we seek to attract, recruit and support progression for individuals with protected characteristics, including women and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.

Jules King, WFS Chair and Awards Panel judge, said: “Steve has supported and developed several women in the fire service. He judges without bias and inspires leadership through a coaching style which empowers, and so has made the learning experience a confident and positive outcome.

“Last year he attended our Training and Development Event and has become a great supporter, going the extra mile.”

Established as a self-help group, WFS UK is a volunteer-led non-profit organisation managed by a board and an elected national committee of women fire professionals.

It delivers training and development events aimed at women, which provide opportunities to network, learn new skills, and mix with peers from across the service.

The organisation provides information and advice to women who are contemplating a career in the fire service, speaks in schools and at careers fairs and at fire and rescue service equality, diversity and inclusion events.