Longest-serving female British Transport Police officer calls for more equality
British Transport Police's longest-serving female officer has said more can be done to make policing equal, although it has improved "massively" over the years.
Inspector Lynda Lang, who has served with the force for 30 years and five months, said there have been major changes since the 1980s when women were given handbags, small truncheons and a tights allowance.
Speaking on International Women's Day 2018, she called for issues faced specifically by women such as periods and the menopause to be taken into consideration by employers.
Ms Lang, who joined British Transport Police (BTP) on October 5, 1987, said the force is completely unrecognisable to the one she joined in the late 1980s when "archaic and outdated policies" included women only being allowed to wear trousers during adverse weather conditions.
She said: "Those days are far behind us as a result of strong women, challenging outdated perceptions and breaking through that glass ceiling. But of course more can be done to make policing equal.
"I think issues specifically faced by women need to be addressed and taken into consideration. Periods and menopause are not items normally seen on any agenda but can cause women significant problems.
"I am heartened that BTP recognises these issues and is looking at a menopause policy, removing the taboo of these issues. "
Ms Lang, 50, stressed that policing has improved "massively" over the years but said she has been the victim of sexist behaviour from male officers and members of the public on occasion during her career.
She said that at times she questioned whether it was worthwhile remaining in the force but was adamant a few men would not "scar" her experience, confidence or ambition.
Ms Lang may consider retiring later this year and is working to set up her own livery yard with her 18-year-old daughter.
She said: "I am excited for life after police but I shall miss the excitement of it and my colleagues.
"To anyone thinking of joining the police, I'd tell them that it is an exciting and extremely rewarding career. But it is tough and there will be days when you face unprecedented challenges.
"As a young constable, I attended the Newton train crash in Glasgow, an overwhelmingly tragic incident which I still recall today.
"Every incident I attended over the years, every obstacle I've overcome in my 30 year career, has made me who I am today. It has been an absolute honour."