Five women to join ranks of FDNY; department still 99.5% male

Five women graduated from the FDNY Training Academy on Nov. 2, 2016. (FDNY)

Five women graduated from the FDNY Training Academy on Nov. 2, 2016. (FDNY)

NEW YORK — Five women joined the ranks of New York City’s bravest Wednesday, but the FDNY is still overwhelmingly male.

With 58 women, the department, which employs about 10,000 firefighters, now has more women than ever.

“This graduating class of probationary Firefighters reflects the growing diversity of our Department and all the communities we serve,” said Commissioner David Nigro. “With more women and people of color in each new class of Firefighters, we continue to demonstrate that this job is available to every man and woman who has the drive and dedication to be one of New York City’s Bravest.”

About 5.9 percent of firefighters last year were women nationwide, according to figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women make up only .5 percent of New York City’s firefighting body.

The department first hired women in 1982 following a gender discrimination lawsuit. Recently, they’ve been aggressively recruiting to increase diversity, a department spokesmen said. More than 30,000 women have expressed interest in taking the next FDNY Training Academy entrance exam in 2017.

Three women also graduated from the Academy in May. The five women who graduated Wednesday, along with the 290 men in their class, will be assigned to firehouses to gain field experience.