AFP Tackles Diversity Challenge

01.03.2018

tags: AFP, recruitment, women,

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From the March 2018 issue of the APJ.

In the next four years, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) is set to recruit 360 women to help address a current and long-term shortfall of female members. 

And in a first for the organisation, the call went out in late 2017 specifically targeting women who are seeking a career in law enforcement to join the AFP. 

Previously (in 2016) AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin announced his intention to increase the number of women within the AFP’s ranks to help achieve the organisation’s vision for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

“There is strong evidence that a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community it serves improves organisational capability and services to the public,” Commissioner Colvin said.

A standard recruitment round in mid-2017 (open to both male and female applicants) resulted in only 28% of applications being received from women. This prompted the AFP to run a special recruitment round which increased the overall percentage of female applications to 46%. 

“We know that the percentage of women employed by the AFP is still far too low,” the Commissioner said. 

“But worse than that, the percentage of women who have been applying to join the AFP, and the percentage we have ready to come into our recruit training colleges, are too low as well. As a result, we have begun actively and aggressively targeting new female recruits of all ages.

“Of course, our recruit courses will always be a mix, but we are targeting a 50/50 mix for our recruitment and to do that we need to attract a stronger talent pool of women.”

The AFP’sDiversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020has established clear targets to increase the proportion of women in sworn policing and protective service officer roles to 35% by 2021. Women currently represent just 22% of sworn police and 13.5% of protective services officers in the AFP.

“We are on a journey to change the culture within the AFP and this is one very important part of that journey,” Commissioner Colvin added.  

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