Why Women Should Join Professional Organizations in Law Enforcement

Are you looking for a way to maximize your potential in your current or future law enforcement career? By joining a professional association, you may do just that. Professional associations can be beneficial by expanding your experience and knowledge related to your justice studies degree.

Benefits include:

With so many associations, networking groups and organizations in the world today, how do you decide which one is right for you? This article explores the many reasons why it is valuable to join a law enforcement association and highlights some notable professional associations for women in law enforcement.

Expand Your Network

Professional associations allow you to build relationships outside of the classroom or workplace. This is essential if your social circle only revolves around the people you see on a daily basis; professional growth coming from an association can play a big factor in your future career goals. In addition to building professional relationships, a professional association could help you meet like-minded students; people who share same ideas and career paths.

Additionally, many associations also offer mentoring programs, LinkedIn groups, Facebook, Twitter job listings and groups for member networking and online communication. These online tools also encourage professional relationship growth outside of the association.

Learn Vital Skills

In a professional association there are many opportunities for learning, including learning new soft-skills. For instance, an opportunity such as volunteering in your community can help you learn the importance of relationships, community building and hard work. These skills will help you in your current or future workplace with teamwork and team building, as well as being able to prioritize your work schedule.

With learning these valuable skills, you can go into a job interview confident you have the experience behind you to back you up.

Receive Encouragement and Opportunities

For women, encouragement and friendships are important. A spot on testimonial from the Association of Women Executives in Corrections (AWEC) said, “… [there are] unparalleled opportunities for executive level women in corrections to network and build friendships among their peers.”

Another great testimonial from AWEC said, “I love working with and learning from executive women leaders throughout the country. I also like being a part of the development and professional success of other women.”

These professional relationships and friendships that grow from these associations are vital to our human and professional development, and they encourage women in their careers.

Law Enforcement Associations to Consider Joining

Below is a list of some of law enforcement associations for women. . Are you a part of any of these great organizations?

Association of Women Executives in Corrections (AWEC)

With membership currently at more than 200 women, AWEC is a dynamic professional organization for women who work in corrections. The members can network with their fellow corrections specialists, learn from other female leaders and enhance their skill set.

Federally Employed Women (FEW)

FEW have more than 100 chapters within the United States and overseas that provide monthly networking support, training workshops, projects and more – tailored specifically to you. Specifically, FEW works to end sex and gender discrimination and to encourage women in their workplace.

International Association of Women Police (IAWP)

More than 60 countries are involved in this great organization for women police. With summit conferences around the world and local chapters in your community, the camaraderie and family you are looking for isn’t far away. Check out IAWP for leadership opportunities, mentorship and many more opportunities for support and networking.

National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE)

This non-profit organization for women in law enforcement is the first organization established to address women who are in senior management law enforcement positions. The association looks to help and encourage these women executives to further their leadership roles.

Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)

WIFLE seeks to promote gender equality and leadership in the federal law enforcement workplace(s). In addition, they provide training, research, scholarships and networking through their association for women in law enforcement.

Other Resources

National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women

Women in Law Enforcement

In addition to your justice studies degree and becoming a member of a law enforcement association, there are several law enforcement community volunteer opportunities that could help your future career in law enforcement. Are you a part of any law enforcement associations already or have you volunteered in your community? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Kendall Bird

Kendall is a Social Media Strategist at Collegis Education who is focused on bringing awareness and engagement to Rasmussen College's social media properties. She is passionate about helping others, the power of education and building strategies that put the needs of students first. 


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