About the underrepresentation of women in senior management roles in the New Zealand Police. As of last week, among all the officers ranked above inspector – 44 superintendents, five assistant commissioners, two deputy commissioners and one commissioner, comprising the 52 most senior sworn officers – there is just one woman. This is despite a December 2010 report identifying the lack of women in senior management roles as a significant concern. That report was the third of four annual reports on the Police commissioned by the State Services Commission, and it concluded that women in the Police did not feel overt bullying or harassment were major issues. Last month, the Police executive established a development board “to provide a more co-ordinated approach to the way future leaders in Police National Headquarters are identified and developed”. The board of nine, which includes the commissioner, both deputy commissioners and three assistant commissioners, includes one woman – and she is not a member of the force. Acting Police Commissioner Viv Rickard defends the composition of the board and says “the reality is that we haven’t got anyone [female] at that level to be on that board. At assistant-commissioner level and above there are no women, so in order to get around it, we have brought in a former chief executive who’s an exemplar in terms of development.” Rickard points out that women apply for promotion less often than men, which may be an explanation why women, who currently comprise 18% of sworn staff have made such little progress in breaking in to the top ranks. Since the resignation in February of national road policing manager Superintendent Paula Rose, Superintendent Sandra Manderson has been the sole female among the 52 top-ranked officers. She has always preferred operational jobs to administrative ones, and thinks that has probably helped her career progression. Nevertheless, she says, when she became the first female superintendent more than 10 years ago, she did not expect that in 2012 she would again be the only one. Tells about the common themes in professional businesses and organisations, women having a responsibility to shape their own careers and about the five-year target of the New Zealand Police to bring women’s promotion rates up to those of men. ...
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