Young Women in Public Safety Internship Program

Shaping the Future of Public Safety and Security

Jobs in the fields of public safety and security are diverse and go far beyond front-line, uniform-wearing, operational positions. They include exciting and engaging jobs in fields such as intelligence analysis, policy development, science and technology. While there’s a clear need to increase the number of young women in these important jobs, knowledge and awareness of the positions is often limited by the lack of access to information about them.

Because of this disparity, Public Safety, in collaboration with our portfolio agencies, launched the Young Women in Public Safety Pilot Internship Program in July 2017.

The pilot program targeted young women in the National Capital area and was aimed at building awareness around the range of careers available in the public safety and security field. The initiative was achieved through the collaboration and cooperation of talented and dedicated employees across the portfolio.

The Public Safety and Security Field

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There’s no question: women are outnumbered in the fields of public safety and security. While women make up around 50% of employees in many areas, such as policy, intelligence and corrections, they occupy less than a quarter of front line law enforcement positions.

Perceptions around the roles of men and women in these areas can be hard to change. Movies and television, for example, frequently portray these occupations as mainly male-occupied, with little room for actively engaged women in lead roles.

Young women choosing their career paths often have limited first-hand exposure to other successful women working, excelling, and leading in these important fields. Early exposure to opportunities in these domains will help young women to be more aware of the important and rewarding careers in public safety and security.

Young Women in Public Safety Pilot Internship Program

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As the first of its kind, we piloted the Young Women in Public Safety Internship Program in July 2017. Its objective was to encourage grade 11 young women to consider careers in the fields of public safety and security. The program increased their knowledge of the exciting careers available and provided information to help guide their post-secondary education choices.

Working closely with our portfolio agencies, we developed a one-week internship and invited 21 students to tour public safety and security organizations. They observed day-to-day operations and met with effective and influential female leaders in these institutions. The female executives who took part in the program throughout the week served as role models for all the participants.

This pilot program represented a new and proactive method of engaging young women to help guide their career paths.

Encouraging Future Generations of Women

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Students left at the end of the week feeling more knowledgeable and informed about roles in these fields. Many indicated that they would be applying to post-secondary programs related to the fields of public safety and security.

The success of this program benefits the Government of Canada as much as it benefited the young women who participated. By supporting initiatives like this, we create opportunities and encourage future generations of young women to enter these fields.

The Young Women in Public Safety Internship Program and other programs like it will help continue to build a diverse workforce. Not only do they create positive impacts for the lives of young women who participate, they also help to shape the future of public safety and security in Canada.

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