Women in Law Enforcement: Promotion & Assignment

July 24, 2019
1:00pm - 2:00pm

To truly impact the police field, women must attain leadership positions where they can make organizational decisions, affect culture, and inspire future generations. However, in 2013, women made up only 7% of police mid-level management and first line supervisors, and 2.7% of police chiefs in the United States. Due to a lack of research in this area, we have a limited understanding of the barriers and challenges that policewomen face in seeking promotions and navigating the upper ranks of law enforcement. In this webinar, Dr. Natalie Todak will cover existing evidence and promising directions for empirical research on this topic. Lieutenant Rachel Tolber of the Redlands (CA) Police Department will bring life to the evidence by drawing on first-hand experiences gained over the course of a 20-year police career.

In this webinar, attendees will gain the following information:

  • An up-to-date snapshot of the status of women in leadership positions in U.S. policing
  • The benefits of promoting policewomen to leadership positions
  • The barriers hindering this progress
  • Important directions for future research
  • Suggestions to police agencies for promoting women and improving their experiences in upper-level positions


Lieutenant Rachel Tolber has served the Redlands, California community for 20 years. Although she has held various positions over the years, she is currently assigned to the Patrol Services Bureau where she oversees patrol services, community service officers, custody specialists, and the field training and evaluation program. Lieutenant Tolber has earned a master’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, in Criminology, Law and Society, as well as a master’s degree in Applied Criminology from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She is a founding member of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, a policing fellow at the Police Foundation, and a current National Institute of Justice LEADS scholar.

Dr. Natalie Todak is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She does research in collaboration with police agencies to evaluate programming, improve effectiveness, and foster positive community relationships. Her work has examined the impact and consequences of police technologies, diversity, and de-escalation, with an emphasis on mixed and qualitative methods. The focus of her current research is on the recruitment, retention, promotion, and impact of women and minorities in law enforcement. She is published in leading journals, such as Criminology, Criminology and Public Policy, Women & Criminal Justice, and Police Quarterly.

Other Webinars in this Series are:

June 6: Women in Law Enforcement: Physical Fitness Standards & Testing
Aug 28: Women in Law Enforcement: Navigating Police Culture
Sept 25: Women in Policing: Performance & Outcomes