Firefighting is an overwhelmingly male profession, but in Boston, the divide is bigger than just about anywhere and some argue it's causing serious problems. Nationally, around 7 percent of firefighters are women, but here in Boston they make up just 1 percent of the force, according to a recent report by The Boston Globe. The 16 female firefighters among the total 1,500 work together with their male colleagues in 24-hour shifts, living and sleeping in close quarters. As the Globe’s Meghan Irons reported over the weekend, it’s made for a hostile work environment, at times, ranging from harassment and inappropriate sexual comments to outright sexual assault.
Yvette Ram, a 20-year-veteran of the Boston Fire Department, told the Globe that her former partner — a fellow firefighter — shared nude videos of her taken without her consent. Jennifer Rodriguez, a 29-year veteran of the department, said she was removed from her position as the department’s official liaison for women on the force after passing on several women’s complaints.
Ram and Rodriguez joined Jim Braude to discuss, along with Megan Deluhery, a partner at the law firm Todd and Weld, who is representing another female firefighter in the department.