Surrey Police came together with all UK police forces this week for a national summit, supported by UN Women, on promoting gender equality.
The inaugural UK Policing Gender Equality Summit on 20 November was hosted by Sussex Police, which was the first police force globally to become a thematic champion for the United Nations’ gender equality initiative, HeForShe.
The UK’s police forces have all made HeForShe commitments to improve gender imbalances at senior levels within policing, and to continue to work to combat domestic abuse and sexual abuse in society.
Senior officers and other representatives gathered at the summit to launch the Gender Equality in UK Policing: First Annual Report and share the achievements they have made so far in meeting their HeForShe commitments.
The HeForShe movement is supported by more than two million people, including world leaders, heads of state and global CEOs and celebrities.
At the event, attendees worked to:
Explore the links between gender inequality and serious crime and violence – tackling gender inequality is a real policing issue.
Address gender equality in the workplace, and share approaches to improving the representation of women at senior levels in policing– women make up 26% of senior leaders in UK forces.
Present best practice – forces shared interesting examples of how they are working to fulfil their HeForShe commitments and the progress they have made.
HeForShe seeks to engage men and people of all genders to join women to work together to achieve true gender equality. All UK forces recognise the role of the police service in addressing domestic abuse and sexual violence and the link between this type of crime and gender inequality within our communities.
Surrey Police's former Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave and Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York signed a commitment to gender equality on International Women's Day on 8 March 2017. The Forces were the first law enforcement agencies in the UK to make the HeForShe pledge. Both Surrey and Sussex Police were also named HeForShe UN Thematic Champions for Law Enforcement.
In order to close the gender gap in senior leadership by 2020 as part of the pledge, both forces have committed to ensuring that there is a representation of women in senior police officer and staff roles which matches the overall proportion of women in the workforce.