The Washington Post recently turned to Attorney Debra D'Agostino for her insight into
gender discrimination cases filed against our federal firefighting services.
Mounting evidence and victim accounts indicate that working environments
in federal agencies like Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and
National Park Service are often openly hostile towards women firefighters.
"There’s something about firefighting that seems to make it
a uniquely discriminatory environment," Attorney D'Agostino told
the Post. "I deal with female law enforcement officers all the time, and I
don’t hear this sort of thing."
Attorney D'Agostino represents Anda Janik, who formerly worked for
a federal fire station just outside San Diego. She was not provided her
own facilities at the station and had to approach her battalion commander
every morning to use his own private shower.
"Shame & Fear"
Anda Janik's story is only one of several embattled female firefighters
the Washington Post. There are numerous accounts of sexual harassment, physical intimidation,
and open hostility from misogynist co-workers in federal firefighting
departments throughout the country. While some officials note that improvements
have been made, many advocates agree with Attorney D'Agostino: federal
firefighting departments seem particularly entrenched in discriminatory
and even criminal behavior towards women.
"As women, many of us feel shame and fear of coming forward to report
misconduct," says Yosemite National Park Fire Chief Kelly Martin,
"and cannot bring ourselves to be the ones who have the difficult
and painful task of speaking up about this type of serious allegation."
You can read all of "Few women fight wildfires. That’s not because
they’re afraid of flames." on
the Washington Post site.