With the two new initiatives SIE@vfdb and Vielfalt@vfdb, the German Fire Protection Association (vfdb) wants to advocate for more women and more diversity in fire brigades and other hazard prevention institutions. SIE@vfdb wants to strengthen the presence of women in future technologies and create more visibility for successful female role models. With diversity@vfdb, the vfdb underlines, among other things, the openness and appreciation for the diversity of its members.
"We want to inspire young women to choose scientific and technical careers," says vfdb President Dirk Aschenbrenner. "Our women show exciting career paths, point out potential for their own scientific work and offer women in science and technology a diverse network." The letters SIE stand for Women in Safety, Innovation and Outreach (Sicherheit, Innovation and Einsatz - SIE). The vfdb board sees respectful and appreciative interaction with each other as the basis for the work and a prerequisite for the success of SIE@vfdb.de.
As vfdb Vice President Dr. Anja Hofmann-Böllinghaus reports, the proportion of female members in the vfdb is only 6.5 percent. "In view of the growing number of female students in technical courses of study, but also in the emergency services, we are striving to increase the proportion of women in the vfdb as well." Currently, the proportion of women among students in the so-called MINT subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) is about 33 per cent (https://www.jobmensa.de/study/mint-studienfcher-zahlen-und-fakten-rund-um-die-fachbereiche). There are more than 105,000 women in the fire brigades in Germany. According to the German Fire Brigades Association (Deutscher Feuerwehrverband - DFV), 77,700 girls are currently active in youth fire brigades.
One of the initiators, eobiont boss and long-time vfdb member Claudia Groetschel, points to more successful teamwork in view of the efforts to increase diversity. "Good diversity management has been proven to promote better results in problem solving, research and development," Claudia Groetschel continues. "In the vfdb, we stand for openness and appreciation of the diversity of our members. Populist and diversity-critical positions are countered and a clear opinion on the necessity of diversity in science and technology is represented. This is what the new initiative Vielfalt@vfdb stands for."
The recently introduced corporate design of the vfdb also provides for logos for the two new initiatives in which the symbolic figure, the cocke, is presented in both mint green and rainbow colours.