Historically, the New York Police Department (NYPD) like many organizations across the country is male-dominated with women still struggling to break the brass-ceiling especially when it comes to appointment to fill top brass positions. However, the representation of ethnic minorities has risen exponentially over the past few decades with 27.5 percent of the over 36,000 uniformed officers being Hispanics and a further 15.1 percent being African Americans. The whites still dominates the force at 49.7 percent while Asians, at 7.4 percent the least represented. Women representation on the other hand has progressed sluggishly. In the 1970s, NYPD had less than 700 women as uniformed officers. This includes those serving in various capacities including sergeants, lieutenants, officers and captains. In 2017, the number had risen to just over 6,300 which represented 17.5 percent of the entire force (Dimon n.apg).
Over the past decade, NYPD has continued to diversify its force when it comes to ethnic and gender representation including appointment of top leadership. The 2017 recruitment class was the most diversified in the history of the organization with close 27 percent of the new recruits being women. Additionally, about 34 percent of the new recruits were whites while 14.3 percent were Asians. African Americans represented approximately 17 percent of the new recruits who joined the department’s six-month training program. Diversity also extended to those born in or outside the United States with up to 28.5 percent of the new recruits having been born outside the country (DeStefano n.apg). Despite these progresses, women are still not well represented in the top leadership of the organization with 2017 marking the first time ever two women were appointed to serve as the head of a bureau at NYPD. This follows the appointment of Assistant Chief Kim Royster to serve as the executive officer at the Community Affairs Bureau, which is headed by Chief Joanne Jaffe (Dimon n.apg).
Dimon, Laura. Exclusive: Historic changes at NYPD as two women lead a Bureau for first time. New York Daily News, 20 February 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/women-heading-nypd-bureau-time-article-1.2977795
DeStefano, Anthony M. NYPD recruitment class hailed as ‘milestone’ with most women ever. Am New York, 19 October 2017.