Conflicts and Challenges of Gender in the Workplace: The Police Service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
The chapter offers a unique insight into the challenges faced by female police officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where organisational culture, customs and practice, policies, systems and processes can negatively impact upon the opportunities for development and progression based upon gender. Socially constructed paradigms relating to the acceptance or rejection of a gender neutral society equally exert pressures that are not so overtly evident in other occupations. This work explores how the importance of establishing strong networks and mentors can enable women in policing to attain success and recognition. The under-representation of senior women in the service continues to be problematic with women citing a lack of self-efficacy combined with poor access to mentors resulting in them either facing isolation as their careers progress or an apathetic approach to promotion. Although there have been recent attempts by policy makers and government to address the under-representation of women entering the service, unless a structured and sustainable mentoring scheme is adopted to enable women to gain promotion within it, the service will continue to disadvantage females disproportionately.
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