90 days from today is Mon, 04 March 2024
8 March 2023
As we mark International Women’s Day today we caught up with new mum and workplace representative Lorna Hodgkinson, who is determined to give more young officers - especially females - a voice.
Four months into maternity leave and for Lorna, night shifts now have a whole different meaning and are now spent with her newborn daughter Daisy.
Having spent three years working in the control room at Nottinghamshire Police, Lorna joined the Force as an officer back in 2013, before becoming a workplace rep around two years ago.
“In my opinion, the more reps there are the better. I didn’t know anything about the Federation as a young officer and I want to change that. I want to give young officers - especially women - a voice,” said 34-year-old Lorna.
“I think there’s almost a vulnerability that comes with being a young woman in service - and that’s probably based on my first few years in the job when I had some really bad experiences.
“While I think policing culture is improving, there’s still a problem surrounding the way male and female officers are treated, to this day. I feel there definitely are still signs of this ‘boys’ club culture’ within the Force.
“I’ve been massively undermined by male colleagues and told I couldn’t attend violent jobs because I was a woman.
“Even recently I’ve heard management say ‘oh, we’ll send the boys to that’, which I don’t feel is right. And I’m certainly not one to bang the drum continuously for women’s rights, I just don’t think people should be treated differently because of their gender, everyone should be treated as an individual.”
One particular issue Lorna is hoping to change when she returns to work is the support and advice available for expectant parents.
“Being on maternity leave and expecting a baby has shown me that there is a lack of support out there for new parents,” Lorna continued.
“It’s things like knowing where new mums can go to express breastmilk, for example, there’s no information on these things whatsoever.
“And I’ll definitely be wanting to work to change that when I’m back - not necessarily for me, but for other women too.”
Looking back on the past 10 years, Lorna said one of the highlights of her career has been helping a teenager who was experiencing domestic abuse at the hands of her boyfriend.
“The mum of that 16-year-old told me that I’d changed her daughter’s life. Her daughter had left her violent boyfriend and had got a job, she said she was a totally different teenager. That was very rewarding.”