Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management


College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Karen Casey-Acevedo

Second Advisor

Katrina Carter-Tellison

Third Advisor

Kimberly Lonsway


Women in law enforcement have increased their numbers in entry level and mid-management positions during the past 25 years. However, they have not found parity with their male counterparts in attaining positions of top command and are still notably under-represented. This study reports the results of a nationwide survey of women in law enforcement who have attained at least one supervisory rank. The study participants provided responses to a series of questions identifying their investment in human capital, and whether it impacted their promotional opportunities. Human capital theory addresses individual investment in targeted areas of types of assignments, training, education and mentoring. Much of the literature on human capital suggests that women are less invested in their careers, resulting in their diminished capacity to compete for positions of higher supervisory rank. Some areas of Human Capital addressed in this study included the type of job assignment, years on the job, the impact of maternity leave, the amount and type of training, access to mentors, the ranking of specific job skills and behaviors, and overall job satisfaction. The information gathered from the participants identified some areas where these components of human capital were significant predictors of promotion, such as job assignment, education, and training. Those areas that did not indicate significant correlations, such as mentoring and not taking maternity leave, still provided valuable information to support women in their quest for advancement.

The data was collected from across all supervisory ranks, which were broken into four categories: Top Command which included women who had achieved the rank of Chief or its equivalent, Command, which included Assistant Chiefs, Commanders and Majors or their equivalent rank, Mid-Managers, which included Captains and Lieutenants or their equivalent rank and First Line Supervisors, comprised of Sergeants or its equivalent rank.

Although not all of the hypotheses were supported, new information was gathered and utilized to challenge long held beliefs concerning women in policing and their viability in leadership positions.



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