Conceptions of Gender and Competencies among Police Recruits in Scandinavia




Learning & Competencies, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Identity, Meaning & Culture, Organization & Management


Conceptions of gender and competencies may be of importance for the gendered allocation of tasks and may help explain gender segregation in the labor market and within organizations. Drawing on survey panel data from Scandinavian police recruits in the male-dominated police profession, this article explores and discusses the prevalence of conceptions of gender and different police competencies. A substantial portion of the police recruits disagree that men are more competent at specific police tasks (handling violence) and women at others (care and communication). However, quite a large minority have more stereotypical conceptions of gender and competencies. Male police recruits generally report more gender-stereotypical conceptions than female and this tendency increases over time after entering the police. Furthermore, the Danish police recruits report the most gender-stereotypical conceptions, while the Swedish recruits more often dismiss the idea that men and women are suited for different police tasks.

Author Biographies

Lotte Bloksgaard, Aalborg University

PhD, former Associate Professor

Silje Bringsrud Fekjær, Oslo Metropolitan University

Professor, Centre for the Study of Professions

Rasmus Juul Møberg, Aalborg University

Associate professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work. E-mail:




How to Cite

Bloksgaard, L., Fekjær, S. B., & Møberg, R. J. (2020). Conceptions of Gender and Competencies among Police Recruits in Scandinavia. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 10(2).