SEATTLE — The FBI is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting their contributions and encouraging more of them to join their agency.
The FBI’s mission is to protect and defend the American people with a diverse workforce that reflects the communities it serves.
“Diversity is really important, it brings new viewpoints in, it just makes the investigation stronger because you can come at it from different angles,” said Special Agent Sara Liechty.
Special Agent Sara Liechty has been with the Seattle division for 11 years. However, she didn’t grow up with aspirations to join the FBI. It’s a career path she discovered after college.
“Been surprised in a lot of ways, there are so many more opportunities than I thought there were in the FBI,” said Liechty.
With 35,000 employees spread across the globe, women make up 44% of the agency.
“Women are well-represented on each of those squads; they are members of the squad working violent crime, espionage cases, cyber crime, fraud cases; they are also leading our agency at executive levels,” said Special Agent Kera O’Reilly.
O’Reilly has been with the Seattle division for 25 years. While women are represented in multiple areas of the agency, only 21% of special agents are women and O’Reilly hopes to inspire more to apply.
“I think there is some mystique that goes with the FBI and some people think it is unattainable, some people don’t think about it because it is not perhaps a traditional role for women to go into law enforcement,” said O’Reilly.
When the FBI was established in 1908, it did not allow women to apply for special agent positions. In 1972, it recognized the need for an inclusive force to better serve the country.
“Different genders, different cultural backgrounds, different faiths; we really want to make sure our agency represents our community,” said O’Reilly.
And within the agency, supporting employees who choose to have a family and a successful career.
“For me, family is so important. I’m a wife, a mother of several small children, and I am able to do that while being a special agent,” said O’Reilly.
“It just shows you can have both, you can have a family and a work life and be able to do a lot of really great things and help your community,” said Liechty.
The FBI celebrating the unique set of skills women offer within the organization and their dedication to keep our country safe.
“The mission that we have at the FBI to defend the constitution and protect the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, has such a purpose, that I hope my children are proud of what I’ve done, that I am doing something to affect their future,” said O’Reilly.
For information on the FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/
For information on FBI jobs opportunities or to apply: https://www.fbijobs.gov/