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Diversity or Discrimination?

The U.S. Border Patrol recently pledged to add up to 1,600 women to their workforce. The uncharacteristic female recruitment spree has been sparked by largely male dominated ranks and the idea that female officers can provide a level of comfort to the thousands of women and children migrating to the United States each year.

Although all agents are held to the same caliber in terms of training and physical standards, the government issued female-only hiring announcement may be seen as discriminatory against male applicants looking to join the force. Less than 5% of Border Patrol agents are women. As a reminder to all government leadership, discrimination comes in many forms and should be considered in wording job postings to promote all potential recruits.

While adding women to the Customs & Border Protection agency is expected to alleviate initial concerns of many families leaving their home countries and help substantially with immigration patrol, recruitment efforts should be strategically placed in areas that optimize the female target rather than idealize openings specifically just for women.

With campaign season among us, the possibility for widespread change in immigration laws and border patrol enforcement might happen. The demand for more officers is imminent. How these officers are hired, however, should still pertain to regulations, and deciding officials need to be aware of the messages they send out. Increasing diversity is important, but so is preventing discrimination against all potential employees. 

FEDS provides professional liability insurance for the entire federal law enforcement community. For information on your specific exposures, how professional liability insurance protects, or how the FEDS program differs from other insurance programs, visit us on the web at

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Tags: FEDS, women in federal law enforcement, federal employee defense services


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