Cressida Dick, first openly LGBT Met Police Commissioner, says she still faces sexism
The UK’s most senior LGBT police officer has revealed that she faces sexism despite her high rank.
Cressida Dick was appointed as Commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police force last year, the first woman to hold the post, taking over from the departing Sir Bernard Hogan Howe.
After taking on the role she opened up about her personal life, which she shares with a woman.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Ms Dick said that she hopes policing can change in future to not be a “very male-orientated environment”.
“I have on occasion suddenly realised some men feel slightly threatened by, or slightly baffled by, or confused by, possibly even now, by having a woman in… a very powerful role,” Ms Dick said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
“It must be very odd for [men]. There are now women at every level in every part of policing.”
Ms Dick said it had been “at least 25 years since I thought regularly about the fact that I was a woman, doing this job”.
She added: “I long for the day when we can all be ourselves, whoever we are, and express ourselves in whatever way we like, and we don’t have these kinds of funny constraints in our heads that make us feel ‘Ooh, there’s a different power relationship because that’s a man and that’s a woman’.
“And we still get that. It’s not helpful.”
In an interview with the London’s Evening Standard newspaper, Ms Dick revealed that she is in a relationship with a female colleague.
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She explained of her partner: “I’m incredibly well-supported. I am a very happy person.
“I have a lovely life, very privileged. I came from a warm, close family who for generations were involved in public service.
“I joined the police because I wanted to be involved with a much wider range of people. I wanted to be in a team and doing something important.”
The newspaper added: “Her partner, Helen, is a response team inspector at a police station in a busy south London borough, so she does not switch off when she gets home.”
In the interview she also vowed to clamp down on violent hate crimes.