The position for the “top cop” was apparently deemed only an “acting” position for Novelette Grant, who, like her male counterpart who eventually got the nod, was only months away from retirement. I cannot even begin to pretend that I was surprised that she was only allowed to act, while the mills of the good ole boys’ club busily grinded, as it searched for the person “fit” for the job; someone with male genitalia of course.
In the meantime, the glass ceiling is still firmly in place, barely cracked by the offers of certain positions in the force, being given to women. For instance, in 2011, to said Grant, who was made to head Police Area Five, which included the divisions of St Andrew North, St Catherine South, St Catherine North, which continue to be two of the most volatile police divisions in the country, and St Thomas. She was also tasked with leading in St Catherine North, Spanish Town and neighbouring communities, which back then, was actually, the bloodiest police division on Jamrock. Linette Grant Martin-Williams was moved from Trelwany to take up leadership position in St. James during this same time as well.
Albeit heralded “tough” and “capable” by some of her senior male colleagues, when it came down to it, Novelette Grant was not, in my opinion, even properly considered for the job. She was a good fill-in, and it was a token gesture that someone, somewhere was using to mollify some gender equity advocates somewhere.
Alas, we now welcome the news that the Police Federation is headed by a woman, the new head being Corporal Arlene McBean, and the executive having females in the persons of Corporal Doris Stewart, Detective Constable Tameca Thomas, and Inspector Carol Chisholm.
I first congratulate all the new leaders, and thank the members of the force for affirming their confidence in these new women in the Police Federation, now tasked with representing the interests of all members of the force. Am I pleased with this state of affairs? Whilst I agree that it is always a good thing when we see what appears to be even the slightest attempt at levelling the playing field with respect to women in leadership positions, I would rather it simply be equitable on all fronts, at all levels and at all times.
As a gender equity advocate, my position will never be that a woman should be placed in any position, simply because of her biological make-up. However, what I will forever advocate is that the “right man for the job” be a PERSON, and that regardless of gender, they will be given the position based on their suitability.
I will forever continue to say, the “right man for the job,” is often a woman who has been overlooked merely because of her X chromosome.