Blog Miscellaneous

Student Perspectives on Gender in Public Workplaces and Gender Advocacy

Five students from a faculty-mentored research course, PAD 385: Sex and Gender in the Public Sector, at John Jay College conducted original qualitative research and presented their work at the 2019 Northeastern Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA). Nina Durand, Denissa Estevez De Leon, Karina Gopeesingh, Nicholas Hutchinson, and Mariana Silfa explored topics ranging from breastfeeding policy in the workplace to gender stereotypes in the media and education to LGBTQ community-police relations. The NECoPA Conference took place in Brooklyn, New York from Friday, November 8, 2019 – Sunday, November 10, 2019. This academic conference provided opportunities to engage with innovative research, participate in poster sessions and workshops, and network with colleagues. Below are the five students’ research blogs summarizing their work. 

Title: Breastfeeding Matters: Promoting equity and inclusion of breastfeeding accommodations in federal and local governments

Author: Nina Durand 


According to the 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81% of birthing parents begin breastfeeding their babies at birth – but many stop earlier than is recommended (NYC Commission on Human Rights, 2019). Mothers are stopping breastfeeding not by choice, but largely because of the lack of accommodations they receive when returning back to work. In order to fix challenges and alleviate pressures returning mothers feel when going back to work, both federal and local governments have implemented legislation and policies to work towards achieving equity and inclusion for all breastfeeding mothers. My research analyzes both federal and local government policies for breastfeeding, conducting a comparative analysis of the policies in both levels of government. From this analysis, I found some policies to be productive in promoting equity and that others provide loopholes for employers not to promote inclusivity. After identifying  policies that are helpful and unhelpful, I present my own recommendations, eliminating and revising policies to ensure all workplaces are promoting necessary equity and inclusion. From this research, I find policies need alteration and that they fail to hold all employers to the same standards.  

How Scholars Study Breastfeeding Accommodations in Workplaces  

Scholars argue that policies in place from both federal and local governments are not enough to raise equity and inclusion (Anderson, J., Kuehl, R., Drury, S., Tschetter, L., Schwaegerl, M., Hildreth, M., . . . Lamp, J. (2015). Policies in conjunction with interpersonal communication are needed to create supportive and inclusive breastfeeding environments. Scholars also argue that perceptions and attitudes contribute to negative connotations of breastfeeding in the workplace. As seen with a population based, public opinion telephone survey, NYC residents overwhelmingly had unfavorable views of breastfeeding. Several scholars also synthesiezed that factors such as race, age, sex and power dynamics hinder the spread of inclusivity in the workplace (Anderson, J., Kuehl, R., Drury, S., Tschetter, L., Schwaegerl, M., Hildreth, M., . . . Lamp, J. (2015). Pre-existing bias does exist, and are very present in workplaces. Collectively, scholars all argue for communication between employers and employees to raise awareness and inclusion for breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace. Policies do not fully address all factors that hinder breastfeeding inclusivity in the workplace. The regulations and policies in place for breastfeeding accommodations at work are just preliminary steps to promote equity and inclusion of breastfeeding employees. More can, and needs to be done to raise inclusivity and awareness. 

My Approach to Studying Breastfeeding Accommodations in Workplaces  

The goal of this research is to produce a qualitative analysis of breast-feeding accommodations in city and federal agencies, with the ultimate aim of improving the practice of policy for all levels of government. I analyzed federal and local legislation, guidelines, and policies about breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace, including fact sheets, local and federal laws, calls to action and publications.These documents provide insight into some of the most recent approaches to improving breastfeeding policies and accommodations in the workplace to date. To better understand the policies that should be implemented in all levels of government, I created a coding scheme based on current literature. The major themes coded in this analysis include: federal accommodations, local accommodations, what policies should be implemented in all levels of government, and what is missing from the policies that are already put into place. After an initial reading of the academic journals was performed, I paid careful attention to the larger purpose and to implications for practice on both the individual and organization. Text from these documents were placed in the categorical coding scheme using Microsoft Excel. After all content was coded, I identified major findings and implications for improving both federal and local government policies for breast-feeding employees. 

Findings, Recommendations, and Remaining Questions:

From this analysis, it is evident that policies put in place in both local and federal governments have several loopholes. Under federal law, Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision, it states “An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.” This language is problematic because it does not define what exactly is “significant difficulty” and “business difficulty” is which provides a loophole for employers to limit accommodations. Moreover, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides a plethora of information on creative space solutions for the creation of breastfeeding spaces in workplace environments of any size, how to ensure there is adequate staff coverage while mothers take pumping breaks, how to modify spaces and make them private for pumping, and how to use resources already available in workspaces to create comfortable pumping spaces. Factors such as “financial resources” and “expenses” should not be a determining factor for employers meeting the requirements of subsection 7 (R) of the FLSA because creating inclusivity has minimal cost and require limited effort from employers.

Under local NYC Human Rights Law Section 8-107(22)(b)(i), lactation room policies must be given to all new employees, informing them that breastfeeding is an option and normative practice in the workplace. The law requires that “employers disseminate or conspicuously post a written notice developed by the Commission on the rights of pregnant workers to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Employers can meet the obligations by posting the notice previously developed and disseminated by the Commission in 2015, or by posting their updated pregnancy notice.” Although spreading information about lactation policies in the workplace are important and great first steps, policies should be given to all employees, not just new employees. All employees must have a certain level of interpersonal communication for the normalization of pumping in the workplace to work. This analysis is the first step in addressing breast-feeding accommodations within the city and federal agencies however, more policies and/or revisions to current are needed. Future analyses should include multiple and differing agency types and levels of government. Moreover, future policies must eliminate loopholes for employers who do not need to implement breastfeeding inclusivity. 

To improve, policies should mandate comprehensive, high-quality lactation support programs for employees. In order to do so, the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) should be mandated to be hired by employers to assist in developing their comprehensive, high-quality lactation support programs for their employees. Policies should also require one of the following outside entities come in to assist the development of these support programs for employees. The list of organizations include: American Academy of Pediatrics, LAMAZE International, International Lactation Consultant Association (ICLA), La Leche League International (LLLI), National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)  and/or National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Additionally, law should mandate agencies to mirror successful worksite programs at specific agencies such as the National Security Agency, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy Headquarters, and the The Congressional Program. These programs have high levels of success because they go beyond the minimal requirements of subsection (r) to section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and follow the best practices for breastfeeding mothers. Instead of the bare minimum requirements mandated in policies, policies should also take into account convenience and accessibility for mothers. In lactation rooms, employers should provide breast pumps for employees. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, “it is cost-efficient to purchase or rent a multi-user, double electric breast pump. These pumps can be shared by multiple women, and they are valued because they help women express milk quickly and efficiently. Employers also benefit because women are able to minimize the amount of break time needed to express milk.” There are benefits to employers providing more than the bare minimum for employees. 

To normalize and promote breastfeeding in workplaces, I recommend mandated training by the Equal Employment Opportunity office, Office of Labor Relations and/or Human Resources Department for all employees to learn about the benefits of breastfeeding, why it is important, and why it must be an option in the workplace. These training will normalize the conversation in the workplace and help promote dialogue. These training may also alleviate some of the factors listed that hinder mothers from breastfeeding in the workplace. Training should discuss the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and employers. Agency heads and upper level officials should recieve a separate training informing them of the economic benefits of breastfeeding inclusivity. These trainings should inform upper level officials that by promoting and implementing breastfeeding policy can result in greater workplace productivity, organizational loyalty, increased recruitment and retention, job satisfaction, and lower healthcare and insurance costs. 

Lastly, I recommend policies from both local and federal governments need to explicitly state what “significant difficulty” and “business difficulty” is and give clear instructions and definitions for all employers to abide by. The end of these policies should clearly define these terms and state what is acceptable to deem as a “difficulty”. Lastly, Section 7r of Subsection R of the Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to employers with less than 50 employees. Employers of smaller establishments do not need to give break times if it will cause “significant difficulty” to the employer and/or business. Employers do not need to compensate workers for this breaktime. Special mandates need to be put in place for workplaces to ensure they are creating inclusivity for breastfeeding mothers and that this demographic of mother receive all the accommodations mothers in large settings would. From this analysis of loopholes in policies and my recommendations, it is evident that more work needs to be done. Moving forward both local and federal governments.

From this analysis, it is evident that breastfeeding accommodations in both in federal agencies and local governments are essential, and the recommendations for policy and practice outlined here should serve as a starting point for future improvements. This analysis is a first step in addressing breastfeeding equity and inclusion within workplaces, however, more research is needed. Future analyses should include more than one state, and multiple and differing agency types and levels of government. For example, there can be further research can be done comparing the local policies of California to New York and then comparing those policies to federal policy mandated in all 50 states. Additionally, research can be done comparing the top local breastfeeding program and the top local federal breastfeeding program, finding similarities and differences. As we further research the topic of inclusivity of breastfeeding in workplaces, future questions need to be answered. How can we include lactation room awareness into mandated agency policy? Who will deliver these mandatory trainings and how can we strictly enforce these trainings be taken by all employees? How can agency heads incentivize their employees and normalize breastfeeding in their workplaces? These topics will strengthen the public sector and research community by pushing practitioners and scholars to rethink some of our most basic assumptions surrounding breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace.



Twitter: @ndurand1

Nina Durand is a current student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, enrolled in the BS/MPA Public Policy and Administration program.With over three years of experience working for the New York City government, she completes many tasks relevant to the field of personnel management. Her interest in the field of public administration began in the summer of 2016 when she worked as a summer intern for New York City Council Member Donovan Richards. At this time, she had no prior knowledge of how public agencies worked or the field of public service. In the short duration of the Ladders for Leaders Internship program, she was immersed in the field of public administration and developed a passion for public service. She was also promoted from summer intern to councilmanic aide and assistant event planner, to later the campaign manager for 2017 Donovan’s re-election campaign. Currently, Nina works for Recruitment Assistant for the NYC Department of Buildings. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid, a certified mandated reporter by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

Title: Gender stereotypes influence academic performance!!!. Do you want to know how?

Author: Denissa Estevez De Leon


Has gender affected your educational or career pursuits in any way? Research shows that gender stereotypes can influence the academic performance of children and adolescents (eilock, Gunderson, Ramirez, & Levine, 2010; Heyder, & Kessels, 2015; Steffens, Jelenec, & Noack, 2010). Advocacy organizations seek to minimize the influence of gender stereotyping on academic performance. Therefore, is important to understand  how advocacy organizations are promoting gender equality in public areas such as public schools. This research answers the following questions: What are the effects of female-male gender stereotypes on academic performance of children/adolescents students in public schools? And How are education advocacy organizations addressing gender stereotyping in public schools? This project is only a first step in tackling the pervasive issue of gender stereotyping in education, more research in this topic is needed.  

Scholars Study

For the purpose of this article, is essential to analyze scholarly articles on  gender stereotypes in public schools, with a concentration in academic performances. Some research shows that students (children and adolescents) from an early age have implicit bias about math achievement, in other words, students implicitly believe that males are better at math than felemas (Steffens, Jelenec, & Noack, 2010). However, this belief could be an effect of the teacher’s point of view and experience (Beilock, Gunderson, Ramirez, & Levine, 2010; Heyder, & Kessels, 2015). Therefore, Beilock et al. (2010) say that females teachers’ math anxiety could influence the student’s (girls and boys) math achievement and performance. Heyder and Kessels (2015) say that student’s gender could trigger teacher’s gender stereotype, that teachers would be influenced by gender stereotypes when the student act his or her gender or if they show gender neutral behavior. On the other hand, geographic areas could also influence gender stereotypes and academic performance. Reardon, Fahle, Kalogrides, Podolsky, and Zárate, (2019) say that there is not significant differences in school districts relate to gender achievement gap in math, however there is a significant differences relate to ELA gap in favor of females. District where females have a higher math score than mael are also district where females have a higher ELA scores than male, and vice versa. However, math gap tend to favor males in schools district of socioeconomic advantaged and schools district with larger gender disparities in individual income, education, and occupation. Therefore, Pope, and Sydnor (2010) say that states with lower gender stereotype of male being good at math and science test, also have a lower gender stereotype for females in tests readings, which means location can influence the academic gender stereotypes gap between female and male. To sum up, implicit bias, teacher’s point of view, and location are factors that influence children and adolescent academic performance in public schools. 

My Approach to Studying

The goal of this research is to produce a qualitative analysis of how masculinity and femininity (female/male) affects children/adolescent academic performance in public schools, with the ultimate aim of addressing this issue and narrow the gender gap relate to academic performances. For this purpose I analyzed six advocacy organizations: UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women); Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization); USAID (United States Agency for International Development); Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund); NCWGE (National coalition for women and girls in education). These organizations provide insight into some of the most recent approaches to gender stereotype gaps to date. To better understand how gender stereotypes impact academic performances in public schools, I created a coding scheme based on current literature. The major themes coded in this analysis include: the purpose of the organization, female stereotypes and male stereotypes, why gender stereotype is a problem, magnitude of stereotype, and ways to deconstruct stereotypes. After an initial reading of the scholarly articles was performed, I paid careful attention to the larger purpose and to implications for practice on both the individual and organizational level of these scholarly articles relate to female-male gender stereotypes. After all content was coded, I identified major findings and implications for improving practice of gender stereotypes in public schools. 

Findings, Recommendations, and Remaining Questions

Equality is the main goal of society, therefore, in this article, I analyzed five advocacy organizations that focus on educating the young (child/adolescents in some case young adults). For this purpose, I analyzed five advocacy organizations that are implementing ideas in favor of gender equality. I analyzed each organization and conclude that each of them should include; the purpose which they are advocating for, what is the problem, differences in gender stereotypes between females and males, the magnitude of gender stereotypes, and how they can deconstruct the stereotype. Below, I establish an analyzed of the five major categories of my coding scheme and conclude with future research questions and directions.   

There are different ways in which the organizations are addressing female/male gender stereotypes. The purpose of these organizations are different but similar, in other words, they promote the female/male gender stereotype in different ways but they all have the same intentions. Some of them (UN Women, Unesco, and NCWGE) promote gender equality throughput women’s empowerment, however, USAID and Unicef are promoting equal education for children at a disadvantage. Also, organization defines gender stereotypes problems in different ways. Problem variate from boys/men do not understand their roles in promoting girls/women empowerment, girls in school do not have the same opportunity as boys to choose their education path, girls who do not have access to education are dropping out of school or are fighting to stay in school, gap between different groups of children, failing of the government on implementing issues regulating education. Therefore, this advocacy organizations also see female/male gender stereotype differently. This include barriers such as: work segregation, discrimination against girls/women, bias, social norms and expectations, unequeal treatment and sexual harasssment. Most of the advocacy organizations have a similar definition of the magnitude of gender stereotypes. UN Women and Unicef say that the magnitude of gender stereotype is the implementation of political, economic and regional decision-making, whether, USAID and NCWGE say that careers and future jobs are the magnitudes of gender stereotypes, where more years of education and access to technical occupations can help decrease the wage gap between females and males, Unesco says that STEM careers are the jobs of the future. Thus, there are many ways in which gender stereotype gaps could be addressed, most of the organizations believe that advocacy for the use of policy, institutional environment and legislation could  favor of gender equality and equal treatment for girls and boys; also the implementation of better school programs for example engaging girls/women in participating and continue with careers in the STEM field, better reading programs, teacher training activities to improve an equitable treatment to girls and boys, vocational and technical skills, and more. Basically, with the implementation of better policies and a strong educational program for the students and the teacher, gender stereotypes could decrease dramatically, which conduct to gender equality. 

Future Research related to gender stereotype and academic performances in needed. The main goal is to live in a society with gender equality for all residents. Through this analysis, we can see how important it is to teach younger generations about gender stereotype and it is consequences. This project is only a first step in better understanding and addressing these issues. More research on this topic is needed.  Further analysis should include advocacy organizations relate to parenting style, how parenting style is affecting the way a child is experiencing gender stereotypes. Also, more research has to be done in terms of location, even though some organizations are multi-countries organization; advocacy organization should focus on the consequence of global stereotype and how less developed countries are different than more developed countries in terms of gender stereotypes. 



Twitter: @LeonDenissa  

Denissa Estevez De Leon is an undergraduate senior student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and will obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology in Spring 2020. Denissa’s current goal is to attend medical school and pursue her dream of becoming a Psychiatrist, therefore she would be able to mentally help her community since there is a lot of stigma about mental illness in her community (Latino Community). She is interested in the mental health field; gender equality activities, and human rights movements. Thus, she is currently seeking internships and job opportunities that help her build the base and foundation for her future career. Her hobbies are reading, writing, painting, photography, traveling, and visit different places around New York City and other places she had visited around the world. She engages in those hobbies because it would give her the inside and outside knowledge that she needs to interact with the world and people of different backgrounds; which is essential to understand the mental condition of an individual.

Title: Not an Object: Sexualization of Women and Girls in the Media

Author: Karina Gopeesingh


Sexualization of women and girls in the media is essentially the process of women and girls being made sexual objects through the power of the media. Sexualization can take a toll on the mental health of women and girls, causing them to have negative emotions about themselves in addition to viewing themselves the way the media portrays them. Advocacy organizations have begun to treat sexualization as a flaw of society and created action plans to combat it. These organizations operate to  change the way women and girls are depicted in the media. Research on this topic is limited; however, the existing scholarship primarily explores the relationship between media sexualization and mental health outcomes. To fill the gaps in scholarship, researching advocacy organization is important, as these organizations take the initiative to ignite that spark in others who are passionate about combating the sexualization of women and girls in the media.

How Scholars Study Sexualization in Women and Girls:

Scholars study sexualization of women and girls in the media by arguing that it leads to public health implications (Aubrey, J. S., Henson, J. R., Hopper, K. M., & Smith, S. E. , 2009; Clark, L., & Tiggemann, M., 2008; Davis, S. E., 2018; Gapinski, K. D., Brownell, K. D., & LaFrance, M., 2003; Grabe, S., & Hyde, J. S., 2009; Harper, B., & Tiggemann, M., 2007; Morry, M. M., & Staska, S. L., 2001). Through the lens of sexual objectification/sexualization in the media, women and girls are at risk of disruption in mental health. Women and girls are victims of sexual objectification and this often leads them to begin to objectify themselves in the same way. For example, caring more about their appearance and being dissatisfied with their own body (Clark, L., & Tiggemann, M., 2008;Harper, B., & Tiggemann, M., 2007; Morry, M. M., & Staska, S. L., 2001) . In the media, there is a common theme of what the “ideal” woman should look like, whether it be in magazines, television, music, etc. Women and girls internalize these “perfect” women and if they don’t match, they begin to see themselves in a negative way. 

The implications of mental health include, but are not limited to, self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, anxiety, low confidence, and eating disorders (Aubrey, J. S., Henson, J. R., Hopper, K. M., & Smith, S. E. , 2009; Clark, L., & Tiggemann, M., 2008; Gapinski, K. D., Brownell, K. D., & LaFrance, M., 2003; Grabe, S., & Hyde, J. S., 2009; Harper, B., & Tiggemann, M., 2007; Morry, M. M., & Staska, S. L., 2001). Media greatly influences the onset  of these mental health problems in women and girls and continues to contribute to women being self-conscious and unhappy with themselves. Using different experimental techniques and questionnaires, scholars are able to determine that media is in fact a large factor in both the sexualization of women and girls as well as the mental health issues that are consequences of it.

My Approach to Studying Advocacy Organizations

To better understand efforts to address the sexualization of women and girls, I analyzed the following advocacy organizations working to mitigate sexualization of women and girls: About Face, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Girls Inc, Media Smarts, YWCA Metro Vancouver and SPARK. These organizations provide insight as to how sexualization of women and girls affect their health and how they are advocating against it as well as for women and girls. To analyze these efforts, I created a coding system that was based on  how each advocacy organization defines the problem, what each organization has to offer in terms of raising awareness, strategies for change, and educational programs such as social media workshops, youth workshops and adult workshops for women, girls and parents. This analysis allowed me to make recommendations to address the sexualization of women and girls and improve public health implications.

Findings, Recommendations and Remaining Questions:

My primary findings support  the idea that organizations need to have ways to implement change, raise awareness and provide ways to empower both youth and adults in the issue, media literacy and advocating against sexualization. Each organization developed some definition as to what sexualization in media is and how it affects women and girls. The definitions provided by the organizations are consistent  with their actions for advocacy and prevention. For example, YWCA Metro Vancouver recognizes sexualization in the media as : “the narrow, often unattainable standards for female attractiveness…” and “female sexual objectification involves a woman being viewed primarily as an object of sexual desire, rather than as a whole person.” I found that all six organizations have someway of raising awareness to have their views and goals heard in an attempt to get more people to join their advocacy. Blog posts, social media posts, and published articles seemed to be the most common trend amongst these organizations. By varying their awareness methods, they are able to reach more people across a multitude of platforms which seems to be effective considering these organizations conduct them all over the country. Increasing advocacy, conducting research and calling for media literacy are the three main strategies for change that these organizations suggest. Increasing advocacy calls for more attention to the issues and gets more people to be involved in the cause. Research gives advocates a reason to keep fighting as it provides the evidence that sexualization of women and girls in the media are detrimental to the way they continue to develop. Media literacy is also important due to the way it provides youth with how to effectively and cautiously use social media, to ensure that women and girls are aware of media messages and how to filter out toxicity. Finally, social media, youth and adults are the factors that these organizations chose to focus on when creating education programs in order to create a stronger resistance against the media and ultimately against sexualization.  Social Media About Face has Workshop and Social Media Workshop, serving as an introduction to the media and how to decode, resist and question the media and allow for learning how to thoughtfully use social media and the effects on teens. Media Smarts has Media Literacy Week: Break the Fake, to help stop the spread of false information online and provide additional tips on how to be smart about the media. Youth A trending theme between the organizations is having youth programs participate in advocacy work such as research, conferences and after school programs which help build their voice and aid in their development. Adult These organizations also include parents by teaching them similarly way to youth, making them versed in what is going on, and how they can be apart of the fight to help.

There are numerous directions that can be explored surrounding the sexualization of women and girls. For instance, there can be further research done on campaigns or what being a part of programs help supplement. Using interviews or being part of the movements, can help open up research opportunities and provide analytical answers for a better understanding. Future research should address the following critical questions: Why are organizations limited on their educational programs and advocacy actions? How can the media be restricted and influenced as to not contribute to sexualizing women and girls? What are the public’s views on the issue of sexualization and what recommendations do they have to combat it? How effective are these programs that are put in place by advocacy organizations? Ultimately, advocacy organizations have the potential to address the pervasiveness of sexualization in the media which will have positive impacts for both individuals and social structures. Through advocacy organizations and using their current and future efforts, they can theoretically influence the mitigation of sexualization of women and girls in the media.


Karina Gopeesingh


Twitter: @KGopeesingh

Karina Gopeesingh is an undergraduate student in the major of Forensic Psychology with a minor in counseling. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Spring of 2021, Karina plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Masters of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. As she continues with her education, she is looking for internships and research opportunities in different fields that could give her insight and experience to different ways she can use her degree. Upon completing her education and obtaining her degree, Karina intends to become a licensed forensic mental health counselor and work with young children and adolescents.

Title: Relations between the  New York City Police Department and LGBTQ Community 

Author: Nicholas Hutchinson 


The riots at the  Stone Wall Inn in New York City is known as one of the most influencial events in the gay rights history. Police officials having a long standing stance of not admitting police error in the altercation, which has always left stalwart between the department and those in the LGBTQ community that has persisted throughout the years.  (Gold, Norman 2019) The purpose of my research is to examine this relationship through analysis of policy and procedure of the department. To find evidence in reports from other organizations who job it is to detail wrongdoing or procedural inefficiency. That further details the history, prevalence, and questions that have still left unanswered and recommendations on creating change. 

How Scholars Study LGBTQ and Law Enforcement Relations   

To examine  the relations between the NYPD and LGBT community,  should begin with that of its history, this is integral in creating policies that will be beneficial to all sides involved. The history has been quite tumultuous, police have always viewed the LGBTQ community as indecent, and this indecency has played a role in their treatment of the community. In recent history there has been a change however, where police departments across the county have now used the media to help promote an LGBTQ friendly image. (A, 2014)  This opinion has widely been held by that of government as well, for a long period in American History that has created a criminalization of the community as a whole. This negative views by government has created laws that have armed police forces nationwide and have led to injustices physical and nonphysical in nature. Their needs to be an elimination of these injustices that can only be accomplished in widespread change in policy, making these actions illegal. (Shree, 2018). 

Let’s examine recent injustices the LGBTQ community have received by the hands of law enforcement, data proports that “harassment and discrimination is greatest for LBTQ people of color, transgender persons and youths. LGBTQ survivors who reported crimes to police 48% percent complained they experience mistreatment. Which included unjustified arrest, use of excessive force, and entrapment. (Mallory, 2015). This treatment has directly affected the perception of those in LGBTQ community. Perception of police by minority groups have always been negative. However,  a survey done by (Owen, 2018) asks non LGBTQ and LGBT there perception of the police, and the results showed the LGBTQ participants had a significantly negative view of the police, and those who were of color was even lower. The survey purpose was to find out what would help with interaction between the LGBTQ community and Law enforcement and the answer was a softening in the approach of law enforcement.

         Another question needs to be asked is how police officers  who are members of the LGBTQ community treated or perceived?  This is important because if those members of the rank and file are being treated unfairly. There is no way that the laws enforcement can improve the way it treats LGBTQ outside the force. Police officers who identify themselves as female and lesbian are automatically seen as masculine while those who identify themselves as male and homosexual are hypersexualized and seen as feminine. Most were told they could not wear uniforms while attending LGBTQ conferences, and thought that although there were 

Research Sketch

The goal of this research is to produce a qualitative analysis that will examine the relationship between the New York City Police Department and the  LGBTQ Community. I have analyzed the following documents :NYC’s DOI report on the issue(2017), The NYC Police Department’s response(2018), Department of Civilian Complaint Review Board LGBTQ complaints Report from 2010 – 2015, Report on Stop and Frisk done by the Center for Constitutional Rights (2012), and NYPD’s LGBTQ Outreach Unit information pamphlet. These documents have highlighted the current and past approach  of the New York City Police Department in dealing with the LGBTQ community. I have created a coding scheme based on these sources, to highlight the major themes I have found. These themes will help aide in not only recognizing current procedure, but also point to procedural and policy actions that are needed in the improvement in relations between both communities. Text from these documents were placed in the categorical coding scheme using Microsoft Excel. 

Findings, Recommendations, and Remaining Questions


 Four major categories have guided this analysis; Motivation, Problem  Recognition, Ongoing efforts, and Agency or Organization Recommendation.  Motivation is the reason or reasons the agency has created the data source. The CCRB motivation is to report apparent patterns of misconduct, relevant issues and policy matters to the Police Commissioner and the public.Problem Definition or Recognition of the problem; identifies the issues the organizations or agencies have found between the NYPD had the LGBTQ community. Center for Constitutional Rights found that police officers unfairly targeted the LGBTQ for their gender expression and non-gender conforming. Transgender women were profiled by the NYPD for offenses such as loitering for the purposes of prostitution  and other sexaul offenses as well as other crimes. The descrimination does not stop there trangender women when arrested are often placed in cells with cis gnder men. Ongoing efforts points to Procedure and Policy currently in effect to bring about change in Relations. It is the NYC DOI mission to give access to city documents and workers and information, the power to subpoena documents, and take testimony under oath Rooting out all corruption in city government. . Agency or Organization recommendation is central to analysis it gives a full picture of the policy problem, the recommendations is the final step in the analysis.  Giving further direction to not only understanding the problems but gives a method on how to fix it. Making sure body cams have audio helps when complaints are filed to have an independent to verify all sides of the story. Expert audits of complaints, in service train via webinar so all officers can receive it, and all handouts consistent throughout the entire department regarding LGBT issues.  


Through further analysis of this study,  several issues have been exposed. First, in efforts to address the need to assess acquired knowledge, pre and post test material specific to LGBTQ affirming interactions should be administered. By administering pre and post test, this allows for better evaluation of knowledge learned.  Next, the patrol guidelines are only mandatory to those who are either in the academy or an officer who has just received a promotion. Meaning those who are not promoted or are new to the force do not receive the training. Instead they receive a 15 minute in service training that is only administered when the captain of the presint ask for it.. Furthermore, with the training being only 15 minutes,  officers are not learning anything from this training. No one is tracking the effectiveness of the implementation and education of the training. An independent body collecting information to this regard is integral to the success of the patrol guidelines. In addition to this, a more comprehensive series of classes, with more detailed training on culture and vocabulary would serve the officers best. 

Remaining Questions 

While the analysis have gives some details and insight  to some of the policies and procedures that has plagued the relations between the New York City Police Department and the LGBTQ community there is still much to be done.  We have not talked about or discuss the culture inside of the NYPD, and how a change of perspective can have a positive effect on relations. Furthermore, could the size of the department be the reason why there are so many issues in the way in which it treats the LGBTQ community, and not understanding how important implementing and 2012 patrol guides is.. A comparison between it and departments small and large across the country and the world could give some insight on what it is doing wrong and how to fix it. 


Nicholas Hutchinson 


Twitter: @Nichola36720306 

Nicholas Hutchinson who has already earned an associated from the Borough of Manhattan Community College where he graduated with distinction. Is a Senior at the John Jay College, who will earn his bachelor’s in public administration in Fall 2019. He then will be continuing his education at John Jay college where he Graduate, he will be working towards a master’s in public administration with a concentration in Public Policy and Public Management. In Grad school along with studying issues involving Public Policy and Public management, he hopes to join the research team where he will hone his kill in research. He currently works as a purchasing agent at Public Resources Advisory Group, Inc. for the last 15 years. Public Resources Advisory Group is the No.2 Financial Advisory firm in the country, with clients such as the City and State of New York.  His responsibilities there is include but are not limited to maintaining several databases daily and making sure professional are equipped with the tools they need assisting our clients for their individual financial needs.

Title: Improving policies for providing adequate lactation accommodations at the workplace 

Author: Mariana Silfa

Introduction (Description of topic, importance, how you study, implications)  

This analysis explores the importance of creating breastfeeding facilities for lactating women at the workplace. It examines the policies put in place, the benefits of providing adequate space and time, and how to change supervising managers’ perception on allowing the time needed. Within this analysis will find that at all these organizations and local governments at the root want to be able to provide mothers a safe space at work where they can be able to pump without the worry of losing their job.  

Scholars Approach:  2 paragraphs 

Within my research I found that the policies and laws were put in place to protect mothers and babies, but most importantly improve public health. These policies and laws protect mothers from losing their jobs and giving them the right to take breaks to pump at work without stigma and the fear or losing their jobs.  

The Lit Reviews focused more on how having a workplace that providing accommodations for pumping breast milk has proven overall health benefits and increased work morale. They show the benefits for both the mothers and employers, it has proven reduction in employee absenteeism, increased employee retention, increased employee loyalty and healthcare cost savings. 

My Approach:  

My Approach to studying the need to make accommodations for breastfeeding mothers at work is to produce a qualitative analysis of lactation accommodations in New York CIty agencies. I analyzed the following legislation and guiding documents: local laws 185 and 186 created by The NYC Commission of Human Rights and text from Fair Labor Standard Act created by the U.S. Department of Labor.

These documents provide employers with the legal requirements and best practices ensuring that employers are in accordance with the New York City Human Rights Law that provides lactation accommodations to employees.

To better understand how local agencies are addressing  lactation issues in the workplace through formal workplace policy, I created a coding scheme based on current literature. The major themes coded in this analysis include:

–  Required organizational support for lactation at work 

–  Employees’ perceptions of lactation  support –        

–  Accomodations for pumping and physical facilities for pumping at work 

After reading the local laws and academic articles, I paid careful attention to the larger purpose and the implications of these practices on both the individual and organizational level of these articles and policies. Text from these documents allowed me to identify areas in need of  improvement and implications if employees are not supported in the workplace.

Findings, Recommendations, and Remaining Questions

Within my findings I learned that many breastfeeding mothers are not able to continue to breastfeed after returning to work due to not having the right support from managers, no workplace policies in place that require management to provide space and time for expressing milk and pressure of not being seen as a slacker at work. Although local government have created laws that protect lactating mothers not all employers are organizations dedicated to the breastfeeding movement have created language around supporting breastfeeding mothers at the workplace. The department of health and the CDC are always putting out information about the important’ of breastmilk and the nutrients it provides against common childhood illnesses and infections. Breast Milk is able to provide babies with the mother’s antibodies, protecting the baby from getting ill. 

In the effort of creating safe spaces from breastfeeding mothers; they are now requiring companies to create infrastructures and time allowance in the hopes of supporting mothers to continue to breastfeed pass their maternity leave. The US Department of Health and Human Services research states that the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases is significantly decreased in breastfed infants compared to infants fed commercially made infant formula. While the National Center for Biotechnology Information research stated that many women that plan on going back to work full-time never attempt to breastfeed due to the lack of support and protection at the workplace.

A workplaces providing accommodations for have breastfeeding have had proven health benefits and increased work morale. The analysis shows the benefits for both mothers and employers, which attributes to reduction in employee absenteeism, increased employee retention, increased employee loyalty and healthcare cost savings.

Although there are policies in place, there are still significant gaps in knowledge and support surrounding breastfeeding in the workplace. There needs to be more research into how are breastfeeding groups that include non-cis gendered women, women who work on the road and in the service industry. the economic impact of breastfeeding on employers; the cost of having best practices for management that are in support of breastfeeding. In conclusion,  

Bio: Mariana Silfa

Email: mariana.silfa@jjay.cuny.edy

Twitter @silfamariana

Mariana is currently a senior at John Jay college with a major in Public Administration. She has been working at City Harvest since 2008. In the past eleven years, she has done everything from providing customer service to more than 400 partner soup kitchens and food pantries, to running the organization’s food distribution allocation system. She currently leads City Harvest’s agency capacity assessment and building work as a Senior Manager on our Agency Operations team. As part of City Harvest’s bold strategic plan that sees City Harvest  rescuing and delivering 75 million pounds of food annually by 2022, Mariana is leading the charge in understanding and increasing capacity at agencies so they can receive more rescued food. Marians is working on innovative and diverse strategies in order to distribute more food efficiently and build a more sustainable, equitable food system. Since taking on the role of Senior Manager, Network Capacity Compliance in Fiscal Year 2018, Mariana has led many client choice conversions, agency makeovers and neighborhood sponsorship opportunities.

◂Return to blog homepage