In 2016 the percentage of female agents remains at 5% although the Border Patrol continues to attempt to recruit additional women. Somehow this process just never seems to work very well, neither the recruiting, the retaining, the mentoring, or promoting of female agents. The first female Border Patrol agents who carried firearms were hired in the late 1960s. Now as we approach fifty years of service to the Border Patrol, it seems beyond belief that female agents still remain a small minority in the Border Patrol, especially when compared to similar federal agencies like the FBI.
In light of recent legal cases involving crimes against female Border Patrol agents by male Border Patrol agents, for example the case of Armando Gonzalez at the Chula Vista Station, I once again suggest the following:
- Treat all agents, regardless of gender, in the same fair and honest ways as determined and defined by existing federal law.
- Expose those agents, supervisors, and managers who discriminate against co-workers based upon gender to the full force of the existing federal law. As federal law enforcement officers, begin to enforce gender laws within your own agency.
- Continue to promote competent, professional women to positions of responsibility not because they are women, but because they are the best persons for the job.
- Take a hard look at the family-unfriendly and hostile work environments that exist for many female agents at certain BP stations and in certain BP sectors.
- Follow the template of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that currently employs definitive methods to recruit, train, and retain female agents. Fully 20% of all FBI agents are women.
For additional thoughts on this same topic, see: