Bradshaw calls for positive measures to combat gender imbalance

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called for the Minister to introduce positive measures to redress the gender imbalance in ambulance service staff.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after new figures in the Health and Social Care Workforce Census for the period ending March 31, 2016 revealed a stark difference between the total staff employed, with only 25 per cent being female. Broken down further, only 18 per cent of ambulance officers are female, while only 19 per cent of rapid response vehicle paramedics are women.

Ms Bradshaw said the numbers were worrying.

“Gender inequalities exist in every area of society and our everyday lives. While Alliance does not support quotas, I believe a Departmental strategy is needed to combat the difference between male and female staff members.

“Women should be encouraged to enter the health service in all areas – by doing so, there can be a sea change in attitudes towards females in the ambulance service and the ending of complacency in this matter.

“By raising awareness around this matter, I hope we see the imbalance addressed. We must ensure there is a level playing field for everyone and that we have a society which does not allow discrimination of any form.”

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