Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
So you are a woman and you want to enter the field of law enforcement. You want to make a difference in the world. You want to help improve your community. You want to change things for the better and more importantly, you want to put the bad guys in jail. Eventually, you will want to advance in the police force and become a boss where you can really make a difference. Good for you. You go ahead and follow that dream. Just don’t let the politics of a male dominated workforce bring you down.
In researching this particular article, it disheartened me to see that so many women, in this day and age, face discrimination, harassment, and have a hard time breaking through the “brass” ceiling, as one article had put it, to advance in rank in the police department. It is not just men discriminating and bullying police women, it is other women as well in the police force. One woman stated how she went to work in a police department and there were other women there as well so she thought she would be all right and be able to turn to them if needed. However, it wasn’t like that. This policewoman stated how the other women acted like a college sorority. This officer had said that he women had tied her shoe laces together and stuffed toilet taper and paper towels in her duty bag.
Women have come a long way since first getting the right to vote but unfortunately, most are still treated as the “weaker sex” and still have to go above and beyond to prove themselves to their male counterparts whether it be in the police department, the military or even the factory. During World War II women from all walks of life, all diverse cultures, stepped up and did the jobs that only men were doing then and some worked two jobs while still maintaining a home and taking care of their children. However, when the war ended, the women were pushed out of most of those jobs so the men could go back to work. Some women stayed in the workforce at this time and most were harassed and ridiculed for their efforts.
Today there are still many police departments that will deny a policewoman to transfer into specialized areas of law enforcement like gang units and SWAT teams and other special tactical areas, but instead put them in units that deal with juvenile delinquents, clerical, child abuse and domestic violence. Workforce discrimination is why so many women quit the police force. One woman said she had quit the force for this reason but rejoined the force about four years later because she liked being a policewoman.
Women, do not be discouraged by harassment and bullying in the police departments that you wish to have a career in. Rise above it and prove you deserve the same amount of money, the same chances for advancement, and the same chances to make lateral moves within the departments, just as any man deserves. Not every police department in the world is discriminatory and not every department has bullies in it. Don’t be discouraged. You be the best you that you can possibly be in any job, not just the police force. Someday, each and every one of you will garner the respect you so richly deserve.