Cherwell and West Oxfordshire celebrates its all-female command team for International Women’s Day

Cherwell and West Oxfordshire celebrates its all-female command team for International Women’s Day

As of 1 March, the Cherwell and West command team is being led completely by women, so it only feels right to get to know the team on International Women’s Day.

Since 1941, when the first woman police officer joined Thames Valley Police, women in our force have been making a difference within policing and in our communities every day.

Today, women make up 46.3% of the workforce at TVP, compared to just 23% in 1989. Women represent 34.9% of our serving police officers, and 59.9% of our staff, with an age range from 19 to 75.

Here, LPA Commander Emma Garside, Deputy LPA Commander Joanne Hutchings and Detective Chief Inspector Kelly Glister talk about what they hope to bring to Cherwell and the expertise they share.

LPA Commander Emma Garside, when asked about her leadership style and how it feels to be part of an all-female team, said: “I would describe myself as firm but fair, inclusive and supportive but not afraid to challenge when that is necessary. It is important to me that my staff feel valued and know that I would back them when making difficult decisions and doing the right thing. Policing is a tough job and we spend a lot of time at work so I want my LPA to be a location of choice, where people work hard and collectively celebrate in our successes. I would expect people to try their best but not be afraid of getting something wrong, after all that is how we learn. Having trust in each other, being accessible, making decisions and doing what I say I will do is very important when building credibility as a Commander. I don’t tolerate laziness, rudeness or anyone who is unkind.

“I am delighted at the appointment of Kelly and Joanne to my Leadership team. We have each had different career paths and worked hard to get where we are today balancing families and work commitments. We have not been given these roles to tick a box. We are the best people for these jobs and I have every confidence in this being a successful combination of skills, personalities and experience to take the LPA forward. I hope we can inspire others to dream, believe and achieve whatever it may be they are aspiring to do.”

Cherwell and West Oxfordshire celebrates its all-female command team for International Women’s Day

When asked about the expertise that they bring to the team, Detective Chief Inspector Kelly Glister said: “The leadership and operational experience we have as individuals is really strong. Our collective expertise of uniformed policing, intelligence and investigations will work perfectly together to give the very best support to our teams, giving them the confidence and skills to serve the communities of Cherwell and West Oxfordshire in the very best way that they can.

“We hope that our accessible and approachable working styles will encourage our staff to be open and responsive to the needs of the LPA and their personal development, as we strive to continually improve.

“Clearly the opportunity to promote women in policing by providing visible representation as role models is a real bonus. I would like to think that our achievements will inspire others to have the policing career they desire.”

When asked how she thinks policing has changed in proving opportunities for women to progress, Deputy LPA Commander Joanne Hutchings said: “Diversity in Policing has evolved in the 18 years I have been in policing. It has been inspiring to me to see the number of female Chief Officers increase across UK forces in recent years.

“I have taken inspiration from women in policing who I can relate to, such as Emma and Kelly who are both mothers and have achieved great things within policing and within specialist roles. I really feel that the women who have gone before me have laid a fantastic foundation for our future female leaders.

“I also feel it is incumbent on us to leave a legacy for those follow. I am proud that TVP have committed to increasing police diversity, invested in understanding retention issues for female officers and have supported flexible career paths for both male and female officers. Evidence shows that we can be far more productive when we have a diverse workforce with people who bring different ideas and different perspectives to our organisation.”

If you have been inspired by their story and think you could make a difference, helping to keep our communities safe, please consider becoming a Police Officer with Thames Valley Police.

For those from under-represented groups considering a career in policing, support and advice can be given from our Positive Action and Engagement Team. Find out more about how we are Valuing Difference.

More blog stories from our TVP women are available in our Women in Policing section.