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Politico – Police agencies are the most male-dominated part of the federal government

“Despite expanding rapidly over the past two decades, federal law enforcement agencies remain almost as male-dominated as they were during the Clinton administration, according to a new POLITICO survey — the first to assess the gender gap in federal law enforcement in nearly a decade. In 1996, women held about 14 percent of the country’s federal law enforcement jobs; today, women represent just 15 percent. At this rate, it will be 700 years before women hold half of these jobs. From Customs and Border Protection to the Secret Service, large agencies are trundling along in a sort of time machine, with men dominating the ranks in ways they no longer do across the rest of government or even many large police departments. On a percentage basis, there are now more female members of Congress than female officers at the Drug Enforcement Administration. The lowest ratio of all belongs to the Border Patrol. Just 5 percent of its agents are female, which means the Border Patrol employs fewer women than the U.S. Marines (at 8 percent). The active-duty military has three times as many women as the Border Patrol, on a proportional basis (at 16 percent)…It’s no surprise that more men go into law enforcement than women, but that doesn’t explain why the San Diego and Detroit police departments have more women on a percentage basis than the FBI. There seems to be something uniquely intractable about federal law enforcement, suggesting a problem beyond the simple math of gender equality. Combined, federal law enforcement agencies represent a police force almost three times the size of the New York City Police Department, with vast powers to arrest and detain civilians. The more skewed their demographics, generally speaking, the less effective they will be….”

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