Gender Agenda – Executive Summary

In the development of the gender agenda we have endeavoured to embrace the

many groups which represent women officers’ views. Our aim has been to

develop a common agenda of the issues affecting all of us and our ability to

achieve our potential within the Service; whether this is in our current rank

(Constable to Chief Constable), our current role (uniformed patrol or specialist) or

in a rank or role to which we aspire and have the ability to achieve. We also

recognise the double jeopardy experienced by visible ethnic minority women and

gay women.


The gender agenda clearly focuses on the specific needs of the 16% of women

officers within the Service. It does, however, recognise that other women within

civilian support roles, and men, experience similar challenges. We believe by

focusing on the agenda the Police Service will ensure benefits for both women

officers and the greater organisation.


This document clearly explains our vision, values, raison d’ętre and our five long

term aims which are:

1. For the Service to demonstrate consistently that it values women officers;

2. To achieve a gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation balance across the rank

structure and specialisms consistent with the proportion of women in the

economically active population;

3. To have a woman’s voice in influential policy fora focusing on both internal

and external service delivery;

4. To develop an understanding of the competing demands in achieving a

work/life balance and a successful police career; and

5. To have a working environment and equipment of the right quality and

standards to enable women officers to do their job professionally.

It then clearly and succinctly outlines the case for the agenda, giving the Service

five good reasons why it should pursue it with vigour.

Finally, each long term aim has been broken down to give the reality of what it

means; we clearly identify the barriers to progress, what action needs to be

undertaken to break down the barriers, examples of positive initiatives currently

happening to improve the situation and finally highlight bad practice that needs to

be stopped.


The gender agenda will be a living document with progress regularly updated on

the British Association of Women Police website ( Consequently,

we invite all officers and organisations to contribute to the implementation of the

agenda and to keep us informed of progress. We particularly welcome further

positive initiatives which can be cited to assist others who are grappling with

the issues.


The gender agenda seeks to awaken the Service to issues which must be tackled if

it is to develop its potential as a deliverer of quality services to the public it serves

in the 21st century.