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Gender Integration in Australian Policing: The Evolution of Management Responsibility

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science and Management Volume: 1 Issue: 3 Dated: December 1998 Pages: 241-259
T Prenzler
Date Published
19 pages
This paper traces the development of women's formal integration into policing in Australia, with attention to the role of legislation in effecting change.
Grudging compliance with the requirements of anti- discrimination has occurred in the last two decades with a limited application of the more demanding requirements of legislation oriented toward affirmative action. This paper sets up a model for effective management of equal employment opportunity (EEO) responsibilities and tests the level of current application of the model with reference to EEO reports and other data on the status of women. Despite significant progress, specific problems remain, and the percentage of sworn female officers will increase slowly and will not reach parity with men unless more dynamic efforts are made to improve participation. The main areas of concern are physical-ability entry tests, low application rates, lack of union support, managerial indifference, and inadequate diagnostic review. Two key strategies for improvement derived from this analysis are targeted promotion in recruitment and the application of a systematic "problem-oriented" approach to EEO management. 6 figures and 53 references