Women lead the way in top WMP jobs

Force spearheading equality in leading roles.

Women are leading the way in West Midlands Police with more than half of the ten boroughs across the region now headed-up by female Chief Superintendents.

Three of Birmingham’s local policing units, as well as Coventry, Solihull and Wolverhampton, are led by women who manage a total of more than 3,200 officers, PCSOs and staff.

With Sharon Goosen in charge of the Professional Standards Department, Jo Chilton leading Force CID and Sharon Rowe currently in the role of Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, as well as Lisa-Marie Smith heading up the force’s Legal Services team, West Midlands Police now has more women in top posts than ever before.

TDCC Rowe believes the progression of women into senior leadership roles is a testament to the force’s commitment to equality and diversity  “We’re pleased to be making positive steps forward in West Midlands Police whilst other agencies, particularly the private sector, still see regular accusations of a ‘glass ceiling’ born out of the small number of women who reach the top in big companies.

“Our officers and staff are promoted on the basis of their skills and competencies − regardless of their gender or other characteristics, but at the same time we ensure we offer support to colleagues from under-represented communities as they seek to climb the career ladder.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones, who himself is supported by deputy PCC Yvonne Mosquito, says it’s an important milestone in the force’s commitment to equality and diversity. He said: “The fact that we have reached a point at which the majority of our key local commanders are female and that West Midlands Police has the highest ever percentage of female officers on role is unprecedented.

“It is a testament to our commitment to ensure we remove organisational barriers that would stop us recruiting the best police officers and ensuring their progression and retention.  We know that we have further work to do to ensure our police force reflects the community it serves, but this achievement indicates that it is probably a realisable goal.

Chief Superintendent Emma Barnett, Commander for Birmingham West & Central LPU, is also the Chair of Senior Women in Policing (SWIP) and sits on the committee of the West Midlands Association of Women in Policing (WMAMP). She said: “I’m really proud to be a part of the current senior leadership of West Midlands Police and in the company of some great women both officers and also police staff. We all feel a responsibility to look over our shoulders and support and develop those colleagues coming up behind us.

She added: “For me, it is all about enabling women to make their fullest contribution to policing in whatever role and function they choose and not solely about promotion. I hope this visible representation of the success of so many women will inspire other women to be future leaders of the service.”

Pictured (L-R): Lisa-Marie Smith, Claire Bell, Emma Barnett, Rachel Jones, Sharon Rowe, Sharon Goosen, Jo Smallwood, Yvonne Mosquito and Police & Crime Commissioner Bob Jones.