International Women’s Day | Counter Terrorism Policing | Counter Terrorism Policing

International Women’s Day | Counter Terrorism Policing

This International Women’s Day, we take you behind the scenes at Counter Terrorism Policing to hear from the women that work day and night to keep the country safe.

We’ve spoken to two of our CTP officers and staff to get their view on what it’s like to be a woman working in Counter Terrorism Policing.

Because of the covert nature of lots of our work we’ve removed the names of the individuals we spoke to.

If you’re interested in joining the dedicated team of professionals that work hard to protect the UK, please take a look at our careers page here.

 

Job title: Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA)

Length of time in the force:  20 years in West Midlands Police and 8 years as a CTSA.

What drew you to this kind of work?

“Growing up I always envisaged a career in the ‘legal world’ and saw policing as a career for life that would open doors to other opportunities. I saw the CTSA role advertised internally and thought that it would be a new challenge for me.”

How has the role of women in the force changed in your opinion?

“Many years ago policing was seen as a primarily male workforce.  I believe that some women felt that they had to work hard to prove that we were worthy of being recruited into certain posts.  Thankfully I believe these stigmas have largely been broken down and the force utilises the best people for each role based on their abilities and not their gender.”

What are some of the biggest challenges to women in your mind?

“Historically I think that it was easy to pigeon-hole women into certain roles that were deemed more ‘suitable’ for a female employee.  Thankfully I think this has changed in recent years with women being recruited into a vast array of various roles and positions of responsibility across all industries and not just policing.”

What are your hopes and expectations for women in the force going forwards?

“Within my 20 years in the force I have thankfully never faced any serious discrimination based on my gender.  I know that women many years before me did!  I hope that we continue to support all individuals to achieve their potential.”

What message do you have for women thinking about a career in CT?

“I would say definitely go for it!  We are an inclusive organisation and I have always been encouraged and supported to develop within my role and the organisation both professionally and personally.”

What has been your proudest moment?

“Being selected to represent CT Protect Policing both on a local and national level in relation to security within football.  This work has traditionally been a male dominated arena, so I am proud as a woman to be making positive changes in this area.”

What does the phrase ‘our differences, our strengths’ mean to you?

“Each of us has strengths within the workplace regardless of gender, age, race, religious beliefs. Our differences represent the diverse society that we serve within the community.  CT Policing benefits by acknowledging these strengths and differences to ensure that the best people are recruited for each individual role.”

 

Job title: Police Staff Investigator (Part-time)

Length of time in the force:  9 months

Why were you interested in counter-terrorism? 

“When I retired from the army after 24 years, I tried working in the private sector, but at my core I was a public servant. Once I realised this, joining the police was a natural choice and a little bit of fate after a friend gave me the push to apply for a post as a police staff investigator… and here I am!  Working within Counter Terrorism plays to my strengths and significant military experience, I now just view things through a slightly different lens.”

How has the role of women in the force changed in your opinion? 

“I have only worked with Counter Terrorism Policing for nine months, so I have limited experience; but from what I’ve seen so far, I love it! For the first time in my life, being a woman is of no significance. I am treated equally and fairly for the skills and capability I bring to the job, and I have never felt at a disadvantage as a woman.”

What are some of the biggest challenges to women in your mind? 

“Labelling and unconscious bias remains a challenge.  These things take time to make societal change, but we are getting there.”

What are your hopes and expectations for women in the force going forwards? 

“I hope we continue to be valued and our voice is heard as equally and as fairly as our male counterparts. The phrase “Our Differences, Our Strengths” lends itself to embracing a diverse team that represents the community of people we serve – long may this continue.”

What message do you have for women thinking about a career in CT? 

“Give it a go!  We are a great team with interesting work: no two days are the same…”

What has been your proudest moment? 

“Completing the 12 months Commissioning Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and reaching the rank of Major was pretty cool… but I am happy now to take a step back and re-set my work-life balance, whilst still undertaking challenging and important work.”