Waitemata Police district commander Supt Tusha Penny.
Equality in the police force was the subject of an address by Superintendent Tusha Penny to members of the Warkworth Business and Professional Women’s Club last month.
Supt Penny is the new District Commander for Waitemata. She has been in the force for 25 years and is the youngest woman to lead one of Auckland’s four districts, with responsibility for around 1000 staff.
Supt Penny said from her observations, women often competed with one another for promotion, rather than supporting each other.
She put this down to the fact that women struggle to be promoted and therefore, become more competitive with one another.
“It is hard not to take on board negative comments and behaviour when you are in this environment,” she said. “The system needs to encourage women to mentor others and be ‘a hand up and a shoulder to lean on’. The organisation as a whole will be stronger if everyone works as a team.”
A new mentoring programme for all staff has been introduced with this in mind.
Supt Penny also spoke about the importance of diversity and compassion, and the importance of having these represented in the police force.