Some of our highest ranking female officers were recently interviewed about their career history, being part of our Executive team, and how opportunities for women in policing have changed over the years.
DCC Fiona Taylor was recently sworn into post, returning to policing in Scotland for the current chapter of more than 24 years’ service. DCC Taylor began her career in Lincolnshire Police, before transferring to legacy Lothian and Borders Police and then to Strathclyde Police, before moving to the Metropolitan Police Service in London in 2012.
DCC Taylor said: “Historically male-dominated areas of the police service are actually being run by senior female officers, and the same is true in Police Scotland. We genuinely promote on merit. Far more male colleagues have set out to assist me, than undermine me.”
ACC Gillian MacDonald is currently Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable, Crime and Protection. This includes Public Protection, Local Crime & Forensics, Major Crime and Safer Communities.
ACC MacDonald has been an officer for over 28 years having joined Strathclyde Police in 1990. She spent her early career in uniform roles in Glasgow before moving into Divisional CID in proactive and reactive roles.
She was also appointed Area Commander in the Gorbals, where she set up the Govanhill Hub, a local collaborative neighbourhood team which deals with local issues based in the heart of the community. ACC MacDonald is keen to ensure there is a Police Scotland career ladder for other woman who want to climb it: “If you're talking about glass ceilings, we have clearly broken through. We have a workforce where 30 per cent are women and that is improving all the time. More women are coming through into promoted posts at all levels and this will continue to rise.”
ACC Angie McLaren played a significant role in the development, consultation and publication of the Policing 2026 Strategy laid in Parliament last year and has experience as a strategic Firearms and Events Commander, covering large scale events such as T in the Park.
Talking about her own experiences, ACC McLaren said: “It’s that humility to recognise you’re only as good as the team about you, that has broken that glass ceiling. You get back what you put in. I had kids just two years into my service. I’ve done flexible working, worked part-time and still had lots of opportunities. If you work hard, gender and families aren’t an issue."