Women - Strength Not a Weakness




Kimberlin, Twyla

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Law Enforcement has long been a male-dominated occupation. Female officers at times may deal with gender-based barriers including gender discrimination, judgement, peer pressure, and lack of female mentors in law enforcement. The image of law enforcement has changed over the years and throughout history because of social and cultural changes. After 1964, more women were able to enter law enforcement positions. The gender differences of women in law enforcement are positive to the department. Therefore, law enforcement agencies should hire and promote women, not for diversity, but for the gender differences that are a strength and not a weakness. Women have instinctive traits and qualities that make them candidates for law enforcement. Women are now over half the population in the United States. This is significant because law enforcement agencies statewide need officers to fill open positions. The way men and women handle, and process stress and stressful situations differ. Women tend to look for non-physical solutions of de-escalation by way of communication and negotiating skills to make up for a possible lack of physical strength when outweighed and being over-shadowed by a non-compliant violator. The publics’ perception of female officers is better than that of the male officer because women use their softer skills. Women in law enforcement have been able to improve the police-community relationship. Although there are gender-based barriers and the age-old women are the weaker sex attitudes; women have proven to be influential in law enforcement. This paper will discuss the gender differences and show women in law enforcement are a strength, not a weakness.


Policewomen--Recruiting, Sex Discrimination in Employment, Sex Role in the Work Environment