THE MENOPAUSE AND THE FEMALE POLICE WORKFORCE
- Dr Wendy Laverick, Peter Joyce, Dr Dave Calvey, Liz Cain
Drawing upon previously unpublished findings from a wider study that addressed the impact of austerity and force change programmes upon the older female police workforce, this paper presents secondary analysis of focus group data to address the equality impact of such developments. The paper directs particular attention to additional challenges faced by women experiencing the menopause and menopause transition. Focus groups were undertaken between November 2012 and June 2013, across 14 force areas within England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The findings raise questions regarding the service’s compliance with the legal obligations set out within the public sector general equality duty, which requires organisations to consider how they could positively contribute to the advancement of equality and remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics. The paper concludes by arguing that it is necessary to consider the intersectionality of age and gender, and to further disaggregate (and make publicly available) workforce data to take into account various subcategories of women and men that make up the police workforce. Finally, the paper highlights the need to take into account wider national and international gender equality policy when entering into ‘the future of policing’ policy discussions, and within future policing equality and diversity strategy.