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A two-year long report released Monday by the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women revealed that although women within the San Francisco Police Department are rising in the ranks, they still face challenges due to gender stereotypes.

The report, called Pathways to Promotion: A Gender Analysis of the San Francisco Police Department, showed that while women within the Police Department are being promoted to leadership positions at a higher rate than men, women remain over represented in administrative positions while very few serve in specialized units.

Subsequently, because of the disparities, women in law enforcement receive less training opportunities and commendations.

The report highlights the department’s need to address the disparities faced by female employees, in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women within the department.

Police Chief William Scott said in a statement:

“Sworn women are a valuable and essential part of the San Francisco Police Department and I am committed to addressing their concerns regarding diversity and equity.” 

He said:

“We deeply appreciate the hard work and contributions of the Department on the Status of Women on these issues. As part of our Collaborative Reform work begun in 2016, we continue to make progress in identifying and addressing areas to improve gender equity and ensure equal opportunities for our members to develop and advance their careers.” 

Ching Wong/SFBay San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott says he is committed improving gender equity for women in the San Francisco Police Department.

For the report, the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women reviewed police data from 2015 to 2018 and also held focus groups. The department also interviewed 45 sworn women officers, asking them about issues facing women in the department, such as hiring, assignments, promotions, training and recognition.

The report is part of a series of gender analyses of city departments conducted by the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, under the city’s 1998 ordinance to adopt the principle of the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, also known as CEDAW.

Emily Murase, director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, said:

“We know that women in male-dominated fields, like policing, face invisible but persistent hurdles to their success that are not unique to San Francisco.”  

She said:

“Yet, San Francisco is well-positioned to address them with the leadership of Chief Scott, the tools of San Francisco’s groundbreaking CEDAW Ordinance, and the incredible talent and commitment of the sworn women and men who make San Francisco a safer and more equitable city.” 

The full report can be found at https://sfgov.org/dosw/gender-analysis-reports.

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