Why do women dominate the forensic field?

Technology has helped to transform forensic methods and processes into powerful investigative tools used to capture touch DNA, solve cold cases, and identify how long latent prints were on a particular surface. 3-D scanners and drones help crime scene investigators conduct scene processing and evidence documenting more efficiently and effectively. With all this new technology, the forensic field continues to be an attractive one to anyone wanting to start a forensic career.

In my 20+ years of teaching, educating, mentoring, and training in various forensic topics and disciplines, one thing hasn't changed: there are more women than men in this field. From the many students (I've lost count) who have trained in The Forensic Science Academy or who I've taught, the common denominator is this: they want to make a difference in their communities and want to combine their love of (insert a specific forensic discipline) forensic science is how they want to contribute to that difference.

One of my LinkedIn connections, Dr. Anna Barbaro, President of Worldwide Association of Women Forensic Experts, has written a great article, Women in Forensics: An International Overview. I had the pleasure of email exchanges with Dr. Barbaro a few years back and found her insight about the increase of women in forensic related roles very interesting.

In a review conducted by the Associated Press in 2008, 75 percent of graduates from accredited forensic science programs were women, an increase of 64 percent from just 8 years prior. I suspected those numbers are higher now. According to the review, "women say they were drawn to forensic science by strong role models, a desire to help people and stability that's often lacking in other scientific careers".

The CSI-type shows had strong female characters who were in positions showing a strong commanding presence. If you're an SVU fan like I am, Olivia Benson, played by actress Mariska Hargitay, has risen from the ranks and is now Captain and Commanding Officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. Very. Strong. Female. Character.To read more about Women in Forensic Science, click here.If you have questions about forensic science and training, please contact me at [email protected]