Barriers to Women in Policing - Traversing the Gender Gap: An Examination into the Perceptions and Experiences of Senior Ranking Policemen




Pamminger, Mark

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This qualitative study investigates senior ranking policemen’s perceptions, perspectives, and experiences with policewomen. More specifically, the level of awareness that senior ranking policemen have regarding the barriers and challenges encountered by policewomen, and what police organizations are doing to address the barriers and challenges. Data were generated through in-depth semi-structured interviews with nine senior ranking policemen from two police organizations within Canada. The overall methodological approach in this study was qualitative and used a process of analytic analysis informed through grounded theory (Saldaña, 2011). The research findings reveal that Canadian police organizations are gendered worksites, where policewomen continue to encounter daily organizational challenges, thereby restricting their full participation and overall wellness, within police organizations. Despite the many challenges and barriers for policewomen, the senior ranking policemen remain hopeful that policewomen will have more parity, equality, and equity in the years ahead. My study separates itself from past research on gender and policing as my study is Canadian based, with most of the previous studies being done in other parts of the world. In addition, my study separates itself as it the only one that has drawn upon the National Institute of Justice Report (Starheim, n.d.) and their subsequent 30x30 initiative, while centering senior ranking policemen’s experiences and perspectives in relation to gender equality and gender equity issues.



Police, women, barriers, culture, equality, equity