Breaking the Brass Ceiling: Women Police Chiefs and Their Paths to the Top

Synopsis

Constituting fewer than 15% of the nation's police officers, women have found it especially difficult to rise through the ranks and achieve higher posts. Here, those few women who have made it to the top--about 1% of the chiefs and sheriffs in American policing--share their stories and describe the challenges they faced as they rose to their positions. Each of the chiefs competed for their offices with other candidates, almost always male. The sheriffs--virtually all elected officials--faced other challenges and came under even closer scrutiny. While few in number, these "top cops" illustrate the emergence of women as more than token leaders of American sheriff and police departments. They are unique groundbreakers who have managed to breach the brass ceiling.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 2004