Within corrections, women have made notable impacts in policy, cultural changes, and leadership, yet they have received little attention and study. Based on quantitative and qualitative data, this book fills that gap, examining women in corrections executive positions—their motivations, successes, and challenges. From initial entry into corrections work through their careers, interviews with members of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections (AWEC) reveal their motives for promoting, their career trajectories, and the challenges they faced in a male dominated environment, such as gender bias, perceptions of leadership effectiveness, and difficulty maintaining work-life balance.
Kimberly Collica-Cox is professor of criminal justice & security at PACE University.
Foreword by Dorothy Moses Schulz
Chapter 1: Prison Matrons: The Pioneers of Women in Criminal Justice
Chapter 2: Women Corrections Executives: Prevalence and Demographics
Chapter 3: Litigation, Employment Law, and The Changing Role of Women in Corrections: The Second-Generation Pioneers
Chapter 4: Women Corrections Executives: Motivations to Advancement and Career Trajectories
Chapter 5: C-Suite Challenges: Tokenism, Perceptions of Effectiveness, and Work Life Balance
Chapter 6: Women Corrections Executives: Looking Back but Moving Forward
About the Author
Kimberly Collica-Cox’s book, Women Corrections Executives: The Keys to Reaching the Top, is a seminal work on women’s role in the management of correctional institutions. Collica-Cox bases her work on both quantitative and qualitative data, firsthand accounts, and survey analyses, which, among other things, shed light on how women perceive their experiences as corrections executives, their motives for climbing the career ladder through promotion, and the challenges they face as they attempt to succeed in a male-dominated environment. Her book is a groundbreaking work that gives one of the first systematic, thoroughly evidence based, accounts of women’s career trajectories and impact on the correctional system. This outstanding book is required reading for anyone interested in the criminal justice system, gender studies, current affairs, and the changing nature of prison populations.
The correctional workplace has always evoked images of steel ceilings and iron ladders for those women correctional professionals who aspire to climb to the top in this still male-dominated field. In Women Corrections Executives, Kimberly Collica-Cox sets the record straight by giving 58 women correctional executives the opportunity to clearly and articulately voice their career path histories and trajectories. Acknowledging the groundbreaking work of the early prison and jail ‘matrons’, the book documents today’s female corrections leaders’ continued career growth challenges in gender bias, small representation in the upper ranks, and family-work life balance issues. Yet, the women’s stories evoke pride, job satisfaction, and ‘toughness’, echoing their contributions via unique leadership and management styles and openness to change with cutting-edge rehabilitation programming, Clearly, this book is a must-read for young women entering correctional employment. Women Corrections Executives illustrates the many opportunities awaiting them from the testimonials of successful female executive work mentors who have scaled the ladders and breached the ceilings of correctional work environments.