Publication:
LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD: ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES RIGGED AGAINST WOMEN AND MOTHERS?

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Authors
Neely, Dione A.
Subjects
women
policing
challenges
culture
mothers
parenting
under-representation
recruiting
hiring
retention
gender
integration
leadership
Advisors
Matei, Cristiana
Smith, Paul J.
Date of Issue
2019-09
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Over 109 years after the United States swore in its first female officer, women still constitute only 13.3 percent of law enforcement personnel. Women have always been, and continue to be, a minority in law enforcement careers. The numbers are disproportionate because female officers face challenges that negatively affect gender equality in law enforcement career paths. These challenges involve law enforcement culture, gender perception, gender role expectations, balancing motherhood, and a disparity in promotion opportunities. This thesis set out to answer the following question: How can law enforcement agencies modernize human resources policies and practices to improve the career paths of women in law enforcement, in an effort to ensure retention? This research demonstrated that female officers leave their law enforcement careers prematurely for reasons associated with policies and practices in their agencies. Law enforcement culture and the discriminatory manifestations of those within the sector discourage longevity for the female officer. Gender perception and gender role expectations continue to exhibit the historical masculine traditions that do not embrace the benefits of having the female officer on the force. Additionally, the issues surrounding current policies or the lack thereof that would allow equality in career assignments continue to stifle the law enforcement career progression of women.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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