We recently posted a link to an inspired video which addressed the intriguing question:
If we ‘need’ more women in boardrooms, do we ‘need’ more white Olympic 100 metres sprinters?
The video’s here:
Many years ago fitness tests for people wishing to join the police force were made less challenging. The following Daily Mail piece is undated, but refers to Oliver Letwin as the Shadow Home Secretary, which would place it somewhere in the period 2001-3:
Letwin’s comment at the end of the piece:
I have to admit this leaves me at a loss. How can it be that the next generation of police officers won’t need to be as nimble as their present colleagues? Are we to imagine that criminals are going to oblige by becoming less fit as well?
From the article:
At present, while 95 per cent of men pass the tests, the success rate for women is just 51 per cent. Police chiefs believe it is proving a major deterrent as they attempt to increase the number of women officers.
Four out of seven unemployed people in the UK are men, and unemployment is known to be a bigger driver of suicide among men than among women. So why are police chiefs trying to increase the number of women officers? Back to the article:
Last night the move was backed by the leader of rank-and-file officers. Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation, said: “We welcome the decision to amend the tests. We want to ensure that many good potential officers of both sexes, who would otherwise be lost to the service, stand a fairer chance of becoming police officers without falling at the first hurdle.”
What do we know about the fitness levels of serving police officers, who’ve had to undergo compulsory fitness tests since last September? Only a minority of police officers are women, yet of the officers who’ve failed the fitness tests, two-thirds are women: