WASHINGTON – Female FBI agents, DEA agents, ATF agents and deputy marshals are still distinct minorities in the ranks of law enforcement, according to a new audit that also found women are rarely promoted to key jobs at the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a report Tuesday detailing stark differences between how women and men are employed in federal law enforcement.
In 2016, women comprised just 16 percent of criminal investigators employed at the agencies — even though women account for 57 percent of the rest of the agencies’ workforce.
Within the work cultures of those agencies, criminal investigators — special agents or deputy marshals — are widely regarded as the most important and influential employees, and the ones most likely to receive big promotions.
The numbers vary by agency. At the FBI, about 1 in 5 special agents are women. The ratio is about 1 in 10 for deputy marshals.
Women dominate other parts of federal law enforcement agencies. For instance, 84 percent of human resources specialists are women, the review found. And slightly more than half of intelligence analysts are women.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the inspector general found that most men at the agencies see the issue very differently than their female co-workers.
“We found that a majority of male staff, but a minority of female staff, felt their component was gender equitable and/or that gender equity was improving,” the report concluded.