Four years ago, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to revamp the way the city hires firefighters by introducing more women into a department that has been overwhelmingly male.
Yet despite increasingly aggressive recruitment efforts, the Fire Department has seen only modest gains. Last month, 3.1% of its firefighters were women, according to employment data prepared by the Fire Department. That figure was 2.9% in July 2013, the month Garcetti took office. The sluggish rate of progress threatens Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas' push to double the number of women firefighters by 2020. Once civilian employees are added to the tally, the department actually has seen a slight decrease in the overall percentage of women since Garcetti became mayor.