by Jennifer O'Brien, John Miner
Originally published: April 2, 2016
As a growing number of women work their way up the ranks of policing across Canada, new statistics suggest those in Southwestern Ontario are hitting a rock-hard glass ceiling.
While Statistics Canada found women accounted for an average 12 per cent of senior officers on police forces across Canada last year, many in Southwestern Ontario have either no women at all or only small numbers in such commanding roles.
Many police look to the Canada-wide average as a sign of progress — it’s doubled over the past five years — and chalk up the under-representation of women police leaders to the slow pace of evolution in a male-dominated profession.
Not good enough, some observers say.
“Women have been in policing for over 100 years. To say that hasn’t been long enough, I beg to differ. Twelve per cent is too low,” said Jo-Ann Savoie, a Hamilton police sergeant and president of the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement, a group that encourages and promotes the advancement of women in policing.