Workforce diversity:

A workforce that reflects the diversity of London allows us to better serve and protect Londoners.

We work towards creating a diverse workforce through ‘positive action’.

What is positive action?

The myth

When people hear about positive action they often have misconceptions about what this means. They believe that someone with a particular characteristic or someone who ‘ticks a box’ is more likely to been given a job (such as women, or people from an ethnic minority group). Some people might believe these groups are given ‘extra’ help. All these ideas are false.

The truth

Everyone will go through the same rigorous selection process. All candidates are appointed fairly based on their talent, skills and behaviours which are carefully tested throughout the assessment process.

Positive action is when an employer takes legal steps (under the Equality Act 2010) to help or encourage certain groups of people with different needs, or who are under-represented or disadvantaged in some way, to access work.

Examples of positive action

Here are some examples of positive action activities we have used:

  • Targeted marketing – we target our marketing at groups we receive fewer applications from (such as women and those from ethnic minority groups). These groups may not see people who look like them in the service and this can discourage them from applying. We want people from all backgrounds to feel they could belong here and be of value as much as anyone else.
  • Fitness support – we offer fitness support for women who would like advice on building strength
  • Workshops – our workshops help to dispel myths about working for the fire service, they give candidates a good idea of what to expect from the job, the recruitment process and they help build the confidence needed to apply. We do not tell people what the assessment questions will be (this would be unlawful). Any advice given is general and centred around building confidence.

Why does it matter?

A diverse workforce allows us to integrate and become closer to our communities. If our local communities trust us, we’re better able to gain their cooperation when we offer vital fire safety advice.

Some of the most vulnerable people in society come from diverse backgrounds and we need to understand their lifestyles in order to safeguard them against the risk of fire. This applies to all roles, from our inspecting officers to control staff, community safety teams and firefighters.

A diverse team gives us a broad variety of skills, experience, problem solving and an opportunity to learn from each other’s differences. In turn this helps us to do the best job we can to keep London and all its communities safe.

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