Headlines: February 8th, 1999

An attempt by Neil Morrison, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services, to encourage the employment of women in Scotland’s eight brigades has backfired. His report was intended to find ways to increase the number of female firefighters in Scotland. There are only 128 women in a total workforce of more than 8,000.

His message in the report is that female firefighters are just as capable as their male colleagues in carrying out their full range of duties. The problem is that some people have drawn the wrong conclusion. The report has been withdrawn and a fuller study will be carried out.

The progress to equal opportunities for women in the Civil Service is not going too smoothly either. Women represent only 18% of staff in the senior grades.