Item no. 30034
September 25, 1982
New York
Occupation: Public employees
Collection: NYU Tamiment Library

Firefighter Leaves for Her First Day at FDNY Training Academy 

Brenda Berkman leaves for her first day at the FDNY Training Academy.  After a court ruling filing a class-action lawsuit following unfair physical testing standards, Berkman was given a fair chance at joining the FDNY.  She, and the other female firefighters who would be among the first to join the Academy received support from some and criticism from others.  Much of the media coverage of this event demonstrates the oppositional, sexist backlash taken by many. 

Read more about the lawsuit, court ruling and eventual admittance of women to the FDNY at LaborArts' Women Firefighters in New York City. 

Visit LaborArts' exhibit On Equal Terms to see components of a mixed-media installation by Susan Eisenberg which highlights the discrepancy between the imagined and the reality of treating women "on equal terms" in the workplace. 

MAKERS: Women Who Make America features an interview with Brenda Berkman about her experiences as part of the FDNY on Throwback Thursday. 

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