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London Fire Brigade has today launched an ambitious ten-year plan aimed at making the capital's fire service the most diverse and inclusive in the country.
Under the plan, fire chiefs will take an even more hard-line approach to bullying and harassment and will seek to further increase the diversity of its workforce, by reinforcing its efforts to encourage more people from a range of backgrounds to apply to work for the Brigade.
It builds on our strong foundation of equalities work formed on the basis of the Brigade’s first strategy that was launched back in 1996.
Dr Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: "No organisation can be complacent about diversity – although the Brigade has made progress in creating a more inclusive culture there is still a considerable way to go.
"I am delighted there is cross-party support for the LFB Inclusion Strategy which aims to make London Fire Brigade more inclusive and truly representative of the communities we serve."
Our Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said: "We operate in one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it is absolutely imperative that our workforce reflects the communities we serve.
"It can be hard to persuade women and people from different backgrounds to consider the fire service as a viable career option but it absolutely is and some of the people we currently have working for us are testament to that.
"I am proud of the achievements we have made on diversity and inclusion in recent years, but it is now more important than ever to look how we can improve even further in the future.
"This ten-year plan will help us to build on our reputation as the most diverse and inclusive fire service in the country, shaping how we manage any form of discrimination causing our staff to feel they are not part of our team."
The strategy also looks at recruitment, and the need for our workforce to be even more reflective of the people that live and work in London.
We currently employs 4,785 firefighters and officers, of whom 328 are women.
When recruiting new firefighters, it has aims to increase the number of women trainees to 18 per cent and the number of black minority ethnic firefighters to 25 per cent.
We have a proud history of promoting and supporting inclusion and the past 20 years has seen the Brigade's first 'Transgender People in the Workplace' policy; the appointment of the our first operational woman as a director; and the first Black and Minority Ethnic Deputy Assistant Commissioner.
It says the time is now ripe to build on this work and place even more emphasis on inclusion and equality.