Bullying at the Fire Station? Perceptions Based on Gender, Race and Sexual Orientation

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American International Journal of Social Science, Vol: 5, Issue: 2, Page: 34-44

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Griffith, John C.; Roberts, Donna L.; Wakeham, Ronald T.
Center for Promoting Ideas
workplace bullying; discrimination; organization culture; fire station culture; fire station discrimination; Business; Human Resources Management; Labor Relations; Organization Development; Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
article description
Discrimination and strained co-worker relationships based on gender, race or sexual orientation are forms of bullying in the workplace. This research examined firefighter perceptions with regard to bullying. The web based survey was distributed through the National Fire Academy Training, Resources and Data Exchange Network, (TRADENET). Findings from 113 surveys indicated that most firefighters did not perceive bullying issues were pervasive in the fire service. However, there were large differences in perception between female and male firefighters. Significantly more female firefighters indicated they were treated differently due to gender, felt their supervisors did not address complaints concerning gender or sexual orientation, had ill-fitting uniforms or equipment, and believed promotions were not decided upon fairly. Recommendations included continuing to assess female and minority perceptions with regard to perceived discrimination. Additionally, fire service leadership should identify best practices in leadership and firefighter training to effectively address fair treatment for all firefighters.