MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Burr, Catherine

Geographical Areas



This paper examines why there are so few women employed as professional firefighters in Ontario municipalities by identifying the workplace hazards and risk factors related to safety, health, and inclusion in their work environments. Data collected from an online questionnaire administered to 24 women who currently work or have previously worked as professional firefighters was analyzed using a conceptual framework based on the three elements of safety, health, and inclusion. In addition, interviews were conducted with participants who voluntarily requested to participate. The findings reveal that women firefighters are exposed to workplace hazards and risk factors either by directly experiencing, witnessing, or being told about bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment. Accordingly, this paper puts forward recommendations that municipalities can take to protect the safety and health of women firefighters in order to support their inclusion.