Women in Law Enforcement: Promotion and Assignment

Women in Law Enforcement: Promotion and Assignment
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2019-07-24
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Women in Law Enforcement: Promotion and Assignment
Unit 2 Recording: Women in Law Enforcement, Promotion and Assignment

To truly impact the police field, women must attain leadership positions where they can make organizational decisions, affect culture, and inspire future generations. However, in 2013, women made up only 7% of police mid-level management and first line supervisors, and 2.7% of police chiefs in the United States. Due to a lack of research in this area, we have a limited understanding of the barriers and challenges that policewomen face in seeking promotions and navigating the upper ranks of law enforcement. In this webinar, Dr. Natalie Todak will cover existing evidence and promising directions for empirical research on this topic. Lieutenant Rachel Tolber of the Redlands (CA) Police Department will bring life to the evidence by drawing on first-hand experiences gained over the course of a 20-year police career.


In this webinar, attendees will gain the following information:

  • An up-to-date snapshot of the status of women in leadership positions in U.S. policing
  • The benefits of promoting policewomen to leadership positions
  • The barriers hindering this progress
  • Important directions for future research
  • Suggestions to police agencies for promoting women and improving their experiences in upper-level positions


Other Webinars in this Series are:



The National Institute of Justice started the LEADS Scholars program in 2014 out of a desire to support and develop the data and science skills of the next generation of law enforcement leadership in America. One byproduct of the LEADS program, which has enrolled 50 mid-career officers so far, was a Research Summit on Women in Policing, held in December 2018. The summit was designed to take stock of existing knowledge about the experiences of women in policing, and to identify opportunities, challenges, and research gaps affecting more successful inclusion of women in American law enforcement. This “Women in Law Enforcement” webinar series is one vehicle for sharing the kind of information that was presented during the summit.




This webinar has been presented in partnership with the International Association of Law Enforcement Planners. IALEP is a member-governed organization for people working in, or interested in, planning, policy, budget, performance measurement, analysis, research, and other related functions for criminal justice agencies.



Audience Comments:

  • “Great conversations-more opportunity for those on to connect in some platform — sounds like a lot of women working to research, deploy or improve this…find a way to connect us all.” — Brandy
  • “I am not alone, we need more females in leadership positions. That it is a challenge, the more training, education, and preparation we can do seem to be beneficial.” — Carrie
  • “It was a nice balance of experience and academics to address concerns many agencies have. I got some tangible take a ways. The content was concise, professional and contemporary.” — Diana
  • “As a male, and retired police officer I found this research fascinating. I can say that I witnessed some of things mentioned during the webinar in my own agency. During my tenure, there were no more than 3 women active at any one time. I saw one leave to raise a family, another who had no interested in promotion, another who has risen to be a deputy chief, one who last year took her life, and two presently on the job as officers both with military backgrounds. Great job, Kudos to Rachel and Natalie.” — Frank
  • “Very well done. I sent the information to all the female agents I work with around the state.” — Larry


Additional Resources
19 days ago
After the Webinar: Women in Law Enforcement-Promotion & Assignment. Q&A with the Presenters
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