Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme: Women in Leadership

This week (Monday 18th July) Police Now held a digital ‘Women in Leadership’ event, in support of its Frontline Leadership Programme. The event featured four panel speakers discussing their experiences of overcoming barriers and their strategies for thriving as women in leadership roles within policing.

The panel consisted of:

  • Chief Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint, Thames Valley Police. Founder of Thames Valley Police Academic Journal and Editor in Chief of the College of Policing publication Going Equipped.
  • Detective Chief Inspector Aneela Khalil-Khan, South Yorkshire Police (SYP). Vice Secretary for the SYP Race, Inclusion and Equity Association, and member of the SYP Women’s Network.
  • Detective Inspector Millie Tanner, Thames Valley Police. Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme alumna.
  • Police Constable Joanna Sutton, West Mercia Police. Authorised Firearms Officer and Frontline Leadership Programme participant.

Attendees had the opportunity to discuss their experiences of being a female leader in policing, ask questions of the experienced panel speakers, and find out more about how Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme can support them to achieve their promotion goals.

Chief Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint, Thames Valley Police, said: “I am delighted to support Police Now and colleagues up and down the country as they develop professionally on their leadership journeys.

“As a senior female leader in policing, I was particularly pleased to share my own personal leadership journey in policing and I am keen to encourage women to consider promotion. I talked through my own role models, what drives me, and taking opportunities whenever they present. I am very proud of my service and hope to encourage many others to be senior leaders in policing.”

Police Constable Joanna Sutton, West Mercia Police, current participant on Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme, said: “As a female Authorised Firearms Officer, I have first-hand experience of the challenges facing women on the frontline. The Frontline Leadership Programme helped me realise my worth, and that my value comes from more than just my gender.

“I have since passed my promotion board, and I’m looking forward to taking the challenge of my new role as a Sergeant. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my cohort and the incredible Frontline Leadership Programme team.”

Detective Chief Inspector Aneela Khalil-Khan, South Yorkshire Police, said: “I think the Frontline Leadership Programme is an excellent initiative. As a police force, we need to identify future leaders and nurture them from the start – we can’t afford to miss that opportunity.

“When I joined South Yorkshire Police 19 years ago, I wasn’t surrounded by many female leaders or many other Asian female officers. In that sense I was unique and so never thought I’d get promoted. But over the years I’ve managed to progress and take the leadership opportunities that have come my way, so that now I’m the highest-ranking female officer from my ethnic background in South Yorkshire Police.

“What I’d want to say to aspiring officers is that, if I can do it, so can they. I hope I leave a legacy, particularly for other Asian female officers, by showing them that it’s possible to do what I’ve done; to rise in the ranks and achieve leadership positions within the police force.

“I support everyone who wants to change the norm and overcome any barriers they may face. We collectively need to change the old narrative and put a new stamp on the future of policing.”

Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme is a one-year leadership development programme designed to support police constables to progress to sergeant rank. It consists of five in-person taught days alongside independent and peer group learning.

The programme aims to increase diversity in senior ranks, supporting talented police officers from all backgrounds and paying particular attention to the barriers often faced by police officers from underrepresented groups.

Applications for the Frontline Leadership Programme are currently open for police constables in Police Now’s partner forces.