Jo Coles - York and North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Jo Coles - North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

21 November, 2017

Women in Policing

Youth Commission blog by Charlotte Frost

On the 3rd November I attended the first ‘Women in Policing Conference! An interesting experience to say the least. As a commission member whose goal is to become a member of the police force and work my way up through the ranks it was great to see the Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner addressing the issues women face on their journey within the organisation such as entry to the police, working their way up the ranks, derogatory comments within the organisation and being undermined or disrespected by males within the work place according to their gender.

I went to the conference to share the priorities of the NYYC and to gather responses from delegates that fit the 14-25 age group. Due to the ages of the people attending this was a little tough as many were outside the age bracket. However, I talked to LOTS of different people who work for, alongside and in the interests of the police. Everyone I spoke to was so interested in our priorities, and the ‘Big Conversation’. I honestly feel like I really brought to light some of the issues young people face, which I will bring up and discuss with my peers before the Big Conversation.

I was invited to sit on a panel towards the end of the day, but before that I listened to some amazing women discuss how they changed their lives around. Fancy climbing mount Everest – talk to Jo Bradshaw. Want to become a fighter (in the ring!) – Chat to Rachel Mackenzie. I was so inspired by the women at the conference its taught me to take larger steps everyday, and if I want too, a leap of faith.

After I’d been inspired, I sat on a panel with Chief Constable Dave Jones, Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward, Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Xanthe Tait.

‘How does your career affect your family life, do you have to make sacrifices?’

‘Do women really have enough opportunity within the police, and do young women have enough opportunity to get into the police?’

‘How can we encourage and change the stigma around women being open and honest about pregnancy within the work place?’

Are some of the questions the panel and myself faced. Luckily, each member had fabulous responses and were well equipped with answers which clearly outlined change is ahead. Women in policing are making a stand and equality is on the horizon.

Neil Northend from North Yorkshire Police, said:

“It was great to have Charlotte attend the conference and be on the Q&A panel to answer questions. Charlotte provided a perspective from a young woman’s view around the challenges there are for women to progress and develop not only in the workplace but in life too, providing advice on how to try and overcome this”.

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