City review finds pervasive ‘locker room talk’ in Boston firehouses

  • Source: Boston Globe
  • Published: 01/09/2019 12:00 AM

A city-commissioned review to be released Tuesday found pervasive “locker room talk” and an unwelcoming culture toward women in the largely male ranks of the Boston Fire Department and urged city officials to take several steps to boost the number of women on the force. Just 16 women are in the 1,500-member Fire Department, which has been criticized three separate times for its culture over the past 19 years. The latest review was ordered after several women complained last year of a pattern of harassment and discrimination in the department. “It cannot be denied that the department remains male-dominated with persistent perceptions of favoritism, resistance to change, and a culture of ‘going along to get along’ ” for women,’’ stated the report, which was led by attorney Kay Hodge, who has defended the city in previous labor matters. Mayor Martin J. Walsh committed to carrying out all of the 21 recommendations in the report, including those that would facilitate the hiring of more female firefighters.


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