Essex Police supports International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe on March 8. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe but also highlights the need to further progress towards gender parity. This year’s theme is to 'Press For Progress'
We will Press For Progress by holding a joint conference with Kent Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust throughout the day at the Chelmsford City Racecourse. The event aims to celebrate the achievements of women in the Emergency Services and to focus on how we can work collaboratively.
Officers and staff from all genders and all ranks across each emergency service will hear from inspirational speakers representing different emergency services across the Eastern Region.
Throughout the day we will be posting highlights of the conference.
Over the course of the day, we will also be sharing profiles on some of our inspirational women in Essex Police who have risen through the ranks or have progressed into roles often perceived as being a male dominated role. We are proud to support every one of our colleagues equally, giving them the same opportunities for progression and we are actively striving towards a force that reflects the communities we serve.
We are currently recruiting Police Constables and Special Constables and are looking for more women to join us, bringing their unique skills to the table.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “The leadership, resilience and dedication of the remarkable women in policing is something to shout about every day, not just one day a year. I could not be more proud of the women playing such a crucial role, operationally and strategically, keeping our county safe and demonstrating that a career in policing can be both professionally and personally rewarding which ever role you choose.”
Assistant Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “I’m extremely privileged to have taken the Chief Officer lead for the Women’s Leadership and Development Forum a few months ago and, as the most senior female officer in the force, am delighted we have such a strong established forum in place.
“Every single day I meet inspirational female colleagues in all roles and ranks across the force and I very much see my role being to create a culture where there are no barriers to their success. International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the social, cultural and political achievements of women, but we need to ensure we celebrate our colleagues every day.”
Our event has been organised by the Essex Police Women’s Leadership and Development Forum (WLDF) which provides support for all officers and staff – both men and women - within Essex Police and aims to empower officers and staff to be the best they can be. It is one of many networks within our force that promotes equal opportunities.
Superintendent Cat Barrie, Chair of the Women’s Leadership and Development Forum in Essex Police, said: “Our organisations have shown a truly collaborative approach by continuing to progress the gender agenda through action, support and unity.
“2018 celebrates 100 years of women having the vote in England and Wales and I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with all women today.”
The WLDF members work together as a supportive network to raise awareness and understanding of issues affecting women within Essex Police and strive to give women a voice and encourage them in their on-going personal and professional development.
To find out more about the Police Constable and Special Constable roles in Essex Police, visit: www.essex.police.uk/fitthebill and www.essex.police.uk/specials
- Assistant Chief Constable Pippa Mills
Assistant Chief Constable - operational policing, contact management and criminal justice
I joined the Metropolitan Police Service in November 1996
What did you do before you joined the police?
I joined the police straight from university, but had loads of part-time jobs while I studied including working in a bookshop, various bar jobs, tea lady at a London bank and working in a plant nursery!
Why did you join the police?
My Dad was a cop and, throughout the time I was growing up, I saw how much he enjoyed his job. It still sounds cheesy, but I wanted to give something back and help people. A career in the police has certainly let me do that.
What does your role entail?
A lot of meetings!!! As one of our Chief Officer team it’s my job to make sure all the areas I’m responsible for are pulling in line with the rest of the force and focusing on service to the public. In relation to our specialist capabilities like firearms and roads policing, there is a lot of regional work with other forces to make sure we’re fit for purpose and in line with national practice.
What different roles and positions have you had at Essex Police/in policing?
Having only transferred to Essex nine months ago I’m still in my first role in the force. In the Met, I had a variety of roles as I progressed, mainly in local policing in East London. Alongside these, I worked on big public order events like the royal wedding, the Olympics, Notting Hill Carnival and various EDL protests.
What has been your proudest moment during your career with us?
I’m exceptionally proud to be a member of Essex Police as a born and bred Essex girl. Without doubt though, whenever I get the opportunity to recognise the amazing contribution by my teams it makes me exceptionally proud.
Have attitudes changed to women in policing between when you first joined and now?
Yes they have but there is still work to be done. There remain some areas in policing that lack the benefits a diversity of experience and thought can bring, recognising this extends beyond just gender.
What advice would you give to women looking to join Essex Police?
I’d say it’s a great job with so much variety. I’ve been able to balance bringing up my sons as a single mother while having a great career, although there has been a lot of compromise along the way.
Who has been the most inspirational woman in your life?
Lynne Owens who is the Director General of the National Crime Agency. She’s encouraged and supported me through some tough times professionally and is an absolute inspiration to me and so many other colleagues.