I’ve noticed that I am now in a male-dominated profession. At my last job, my coworkers were all women around 40 with children. It was a very supportive environment, but I missed coed interaction and conversation. My new coworkers are mostly male and they are roughly late 20s to 40. I am looking forward to talking to the other female EMTs, though, to hear their perspective on the field of emergency medicine, and how they navigate and work in such a testosterone-filled occupation.
Case in point: uniforms. I am having a pretty hard time finding women’s shoes that meet the guidelines. I bought one pair of men’s boots, but I am holding out for my second pair. There must be a proper pair of women’s sturdy, black, polishable, lace-up boots at a police supply store. I just haven’t found them, yet. (YES- I get to shop at a police supply store! How jealous are you?!) I’m thinking men’s paramilitary boots may be the way to go, as the weather gets colder. The jacket they gave me is also a men’s cut (“unisex” my ass), since it’s shaped like a box. Even the extra small is too roomy in the shoulders, but it doesn’t fit over my (awesome) hips; I have to undo the 2 side zippers a bit to zip up the front. Really? Come on, guys! The “small” shirt looks like a night shirt on me, but I must admit, the trousers are the one item cut for women. I am telling you: there is a killing to be made in the design and production of female public service uniforms! You heard it here first.
For today, I won’t get into why EMS is dominated by men–there are many factors and not very much data on this–but it is something to which all female EMS workers are attuned. I hope to write more on this when I’ve gained more personal experience and insight. But I invite your thoughts and questions!