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Reports show bias against women in public safety agencies; men oblivious

Washington Post [paywall]: “Two new reports show how hard it is for women to shoot through Uncle Sam’s glass ceiling, even when they carry guns. Studies by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department’s inspector general demonstrate that in federal public safety and law enforcement occupations, it’s still a man’s world — and men can be oblivious to the barriers they erect for women. While “the majority of men in our focus groups and interviews told us that they had not previously thought about gender equity or discrimination,” the inspector general’s report said, “many women, especially Criminal Investigators, described their experiences with discrimination and gender bias in a manner that showed how significant and personal this topic was to them.”

This comment from Inspector General Michael Horowitz shows the degree of gender discrepancies: “In 2016, women held over 57 percent of non-Criminal Investigator positions, but they only held 16 percent of Criminal Investigator positions. And during the 6-year period we examined, there were few women leading field offices, field divisions, or districts in the four law enforcement components, and even fewer in headquarters executive positions leading operational units.”

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