The Prevalence of Female Representation in Supervisory and Management Positions in American Law Enforcement: An Examination of Organizational Correlates

Academic Article


  • Increasing gender diversity in American policing has long been a focus of reform efforts since the 1960s. Although the proportion of women in the profession improved initially and research has focused on the gender breakdown of police organizations in general, less scholarly and empirical attention has been directed to female representation in positions of power (i.e., supervisory and management roles). Using data from the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey, the current study examined the prevalence as well as the organizational correlates of female representation in supervisory (e.g., sergeants), mid-level management (e.g., lieutenants) and chief executive roles in departments across the United States. The findings indicate a number of factors associated with female representation in supervisory and mid-level management positions, including the size and type of agencies, geographic region of the country, and potential indicators of professionalism. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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    Author List

  • Shjarback JA; Todak N
  • Start Page

  • 129
  • End Page

  • 147
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 3