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From Research to Reality: Recruiting More Women into the Policing Profession

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Date Published

This article addresses the low percentage of female representation in law enforcement careers, noting how women in law enforcement can help police departments in a variety of ways, and provides information on how agencies can successfully increase their numbers of women officers through evidence-based guidance.


The authors of this article present the findings from social science research, indicating that increasing the number of women in law enforcement helps police departments better reflect the communities they serve as well as increases legitimacy and community trust, and improves department performance. This document seeks to encourage gender diversity in policing through the “30x30 initiative,” which aims to achieve 30 percent of police recruits being women by the year 2030. To achieve this goal, the article cites research that identifies barriers to recruitment and develops empirically tested strategies for increasing the number of women officers. The article provides information on how to connect with the 30x30 Initiative and become an advocate for policewomen first through recruitment and retention, but also through addressing other challenges.

Date Published: January 1, 2022