Police adopt gender-equal recruiting in South Australia

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The initiative is part of a new drive to make the force more representative of the community it serves.

The initiative is part of a new drive to make the force more representative of the community it serves. Photo: Getty Images

South Australia Police will recruit equal numbers of men and women from next month as part of a new drive to make the force more representative of the community it serves.

Commissioner Grant Stevens says gender equality is part of a raft of changes to the way SAPOL recruits staff.

"This gender balance will be more representative given that the community is about 50.8 per cent female and 49.2 per cent male," he said in a statement.

"The benefits of achieving a gender-balanced recruitment process are many and include fairness, opportunity and enhanced organisational performance.

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"I am confident this quota can be achieved without dropping standards."

Of 116 police recruited in SA this year, only 36 were women.

About 25 per cent of the force's total staff are women.

SA equal opportunity commissioner Anne Gale applauded the move.

"Setting a 50/50 recruitment quota will significantly increase the pipeline of future female leaders," she said.

"This is a very significant step toward increasing gender equity in SAPOL."

Under the changes, women and men will also be represented equally in organisational areas including internal committees, working groups and specialist and officer courses.

AAP