NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is considered the gold standard of law enforcement, the best of the best.

The FBI is actively recruiting agents in Connecticut and across the country, with the goal of hiring more women.

The FBI has taken a 30×30 pledge, to recruit more women by at least 30% by 2030. The FBI says the effort is expected to advance diversity, strengthen partnerships and enhance operational success.

In its commitment the FBI and other participating law enforcement agencies have pledged to:

  • Increase representation of women in recruiting classes to at least 30% by 2030
  • Promote agency culture and standards that set up female officers for success
  • Share progress, successes, and challenges with others in the 30×30 network

News 8 sat down with five women who work at the New Haven FBI bureau – four special agents and one analyst – to hear their thoughts on the FBI’s new push to recruit more women.

Tracie Keegan is a Supervisory Special Agent with 24 years on the job.

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“I welcome it. I think we [women] add so much to the day-to-day business of the bureau. I do believe that we can do all the missions that the bureau has,” she said.

Special Agent Marie Gleyzer is newer to the agency, with three years on the job.

“I think it’s a unique and hard objective to fulfill because a lot of women don’t gravitate toward these fields,” Gleyzer.

The 30×30  initiative looks to change that. Right now, about 40% of all FBI employees are women and only 23% of the FBI’s law enforcement officers are women.

The New Haven Bureau currently has 19 women working as special agents.

“I’ve been here for 37 years. When I first came in, it was definitely a male-dominated organization,” said Patricia O’Boudreau, a supervisor intel analyst. She says that’s evolved over the years with more women in the workforce, but there’s room for improvement.

Special Agent Erin McNamara shared a similar observation.

“When I started there were probably maybe eight or 10 of us – now there’s got to be more than double that. It’s a great place to work for women. It’s very supportive. It’s not so much reactive. I always told my mother, it’s not as dangerous as being the police officer pulling someone over on a highway. We do investigations. We know all about you before we knock on the door.”

While training at the academy in Quantico may seem daunting, these women say it’s achievable – with their success as proof.

There are also many other non-agent roles in administration and intelligence.

Special Agent Kara Marcello “Whether as agents or as professional staff members – there is just so much that we have to give to the FBI and the communities that we serve. I would really encourage any woman out there considering it, [to] pursue it.”

The FBI will hold recruiting events in the next few weeks, including one at the University of New Haven.

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