Gendered communication and public safety: Women, men and incident management

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Fire Management
Risk Management
TitleGendered communication and public safety: Women, men and incident management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsOwen, C
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management, The
Start Page3
Date Published04/2013
KeywordsAbility Testing, Emergency management, Evaluation, Psychological aspects, Public safety, Public speaking, Social conditions, Women
AbstractManaging emergency events requires incident management teams to actively pool their ideas and concerns to resolve challenges, although this frequently does not occur. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods, this paper explores whether gender may be an underlying factor. The quantitative findings indicate that women report different experiences of communication in incident management teams. In seeking to provide an account as to why this might be the case 24 qualitative interviews with incident management team members were examined. The findings reveal cultural challenges to team communication and specifically a masculinist culture (i.e. acting with high confidence and bravado). The legitimacy of these displays is contested by both men and women because of their negative impacts on team communication and co-operation. Strategies for overcoming the negative impacts of masculinist cultures and the role of leadership and training are discussed.