Men, Women, and Careers in the German Police

  • Andrea Fischbach
  • Philipp W. Lichtenthaler
  • Nina Horstmann


Police organizations across Europe are still male dominated. In Germany, starting in the 1960s, criminal investigation departments employed female police officers. However, until the end of the 1970s, women were only allowed to work in newly created female criminal investigation departments (“Weibliche Kriminalpolizei”) and not allowed to change to “male” police departments. Starting in the 1980s, women could apply to all kinds of police departments. Since then, the percentage of women police officers is increasing constantly, up to almost 50% at entry level right now. Accordingly, police is successfully striving to reach gender equality at the entry level. A steadily growing number of women is reaching (top) management positions, but the number of women actual obtaining these positions is still smaller than the number of women with the potential to. Thus women are still underrepresented at (top) management positions in the police. The project “Women in Leading Positions” aimed at comparing how external (e.g., organizational resources, leadership support) and internal (e.g., career motivation, human capital) factors drive careers of men and women in the police.

How to Cite
Fischbach, A., Lichtenthaler, P. W., & Horstmann, N. (2013). Men, Women, and Careers in the German Police. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (8), 9-13. Retrieved from