Reflections of African-American Women on their Careers in Urban Policing. Their Experiences of Racial and Sexual Discrimination.

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    • Abstract:
      This article presents information on the experiences of African-American women in their careers in policing which is largely a male dominated occupation. It is informed that research on the experiences of minority women is limited in number and restricted in scope. Early studies and contemporary literature reveal that women who have entered a variety of traditional male occupations have faced discriminatory hiring assignments and practices, opposition from co-workers, and inadequate on-the-job training. Policewomen remain a marginalized, unaccepted minority, not only in the U.S. but also in other countries, despite a long history of involvement in policing. Women officers may be labeled by their male counterparts as interlopers, who have invaded male territory. By entering an occupation that is perceived as masculine in nature, women may be seen as intruders into the male police officers' self-defined role of brave, strong, and courageous protectors of the community. Black women's occupational experiences in the police world point to the existence of racism and sexism that are an integral part of male domination over women in occupations that are defined as male-oriented.