Ph.D. student Kellie Alexander and Dr. Jeff Nowacki’s research “Women in power? Examining gender and promotion in policing through an organizational perspective” was published December 24, 2021 by Feminist Criminology.
Women bring important strengths to the field of policing, such as communication skills, the ability to lead teams, as well as the ability to coach and nurture subordinates. Despite these contributions, the rate of women entering policing has stagnated in recent years, and the percentage of women in supervisory, command, and leadership positions remains low. To explain this, we use an organizational structure perspective to explore how characteristics of police agencies (e.g., department size, officer demographics, and formalization) may influence the promotion of women to leadership positions. We make suggestions regarding hiring and retention and provide recommendations for further research.