Figures show that female Gardaí now account for over a quarter of the Irish police force.
In 1997, when the strength of An Garda Síochána was 10,960 there were 949 female members which equated to 8.6% of the total organisation.
In recent years, the male-female staff ratio has changed. Figures show that the number of female Gardaí jumped by 50% in the 10 years from 2,180 in December 2005 to 3,332 in September 2015.
Now, in November 2015, of the 12,843 members, 3,327 are females equating to 25.9% of the organisation, compared to 18% in 2005 and 24% in 2010.
Steady increase in female presence across the ranks
Broken down by rank, the figures also show a steady increase in female presence:
- Garda rank ~ 28% are female, compared to 20% in 2005
- Sergeant rank17% are female, compared to 8% in 2005
- Inspector rank11% are female, compared to 6% in 2005
The trend continues into the higher ranks, but does not increase at inspector level. Of the 162 superintendents in the force, 14 are female (9%).
Apart from the top position of Garda Commissioner, females remain unrepresented in the second and third tiers of the hierarchy, and remain significantly underrepresented in the three ranks below that.
Of the 44 chief superintendents, five are female (11%). Above that, none of the five Assistant Commissioners female. Of the two newly promoted deputy commissioners, neither is female.
Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan is the first female to hold this role in the organisation’s history. It is yet to the seen if any of those due to be promoted to rank of assistant commissioner will be female.
Since 2005, the number of male Gardaí, of all ranks, has fallen by 6% — from 10,084 to 9,460. However, following the latest recruitment campaigns, the number of male gardaí has increased for the first time since 2009.
The current recruitment process for Garda Trainees restarted near the end of 2014, after a gap of six years. Budget 2016 included plans for the recruitment of an additional 600 Garda Trainees next year. It is anticipated that details of the next recruitment campaign will be announced in the coming weeks.
Do you have what it takes to be a Garda? Check out the Pre-Selection Physical Fitness video from An Garda Síochána before the next recruitment campaign opens for applications.
The CareersPortal Team