30 x 30: ATF's Pledge to Advance Women in Law Enforcement


30x30 Pledge to increase women in federal law enforcement by 2030

Join Us

On February 7th, 2023, Director Dettelbach formally signed the 30x30 pledge, thereby committing to a nationwide movement, to increase the numbers of women working as criminal investigators.  Our criminal investigators make up the largest employee group at ATF and will be the focus of ATF's pledge to improve the representation and inclusion of women in its ranks.

The 30X30 Pledge

The 30×30 Initiative is a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who have joined together to advance the representation and experiences of women in policing agencies across the United States. Our goal is to increase the representation of women in police recruit classes to 30% by 2030, and to ensure police policies and culture intentionally support the success of qualified women officers throughout their careers.

Why the Pledge is Important

Currently, women make up only 12% of sworn officers and three percent of police leadership in the U.S. 

This under-representation of women in policing undermines public safety because research shows that it can rob law enforcement of a different approach to problem solving. Women sometimes choose to approach situations in a different manner to their male counterparts.  They sometimes use less force; they are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits; they are complimented by communities as being more honest and compassionate; they are empathetic to crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases; and make fewer discretionary arrests for non-violent, low-level offenses.ATF special agent talking with a suspect

Increasing the numbers of women in police forces creates a more balanced, empathetic, and effective law enforcement environment that benefits both the officers themselves and the communities they serve. It is a step towards building stronger relationships, reducing biases, and promoting fairness within the criminal justice system.

Achieving gender equity in law enforcement remains a pressing issue, as the percentage of women in policing has remained relatively stagnant over the past few decades. Without intentional efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of women, there is little promise of significant change.

ATF’s Commitment

Throughout history, the ATF has celebrated the many contributions and achievements women have made to advance the agency’s mission. ATF is proud to reaffirm its commitment to this make the participation of women in law enforcement even better.  ATF has joined the 30x30 Initiative, a nationwide effort to advance women throughout local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement.

30x30: ATF Legacies – Interview Series Teaser

Watch this teaser for our upcoming “30x30: ATF Legacies” interview series.


By signing this pledge, ATF joined more than 200 police organizations in committing to increase the representation of women in law enforcement to 30% by 2030, and to ensure law enforcement policies and culture intentionally support the success of qualified women throughout their careers.

ATF also recently selected its first-ever Chief Diversity Officer – Workforce Innovation, Lisa T. Boykin. She serves as the senior executive incorporating the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as an integral facet of ATF’s work and programs. Boykin has been instrumental in seeking to enhance the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion initiatives at ATF where we believe “everyone is a recruiter.”  

What it takes to be a Special Agent at ATF

New special agents being sworn inATF is a federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice (DOJ) that protects our communities from violent criminals, illegal use and trafficking of firearms, illegal use and storage of explosives and acts of terrorism to include arson and bombings.

ATF was created to serve as the federal agency responsible for investigating criminal activities and organizations with a focus on making communities across the nation safe. The women and men of ATF work diligently to combat violent crime both domestically and internationally.

Since the beginning, women have played an important role in enforcing federal laws, capturing violent criminals, and making historic changes in law enforcement. As a special agent, you will work alongside men and women of the highest caliber and training and utilize those skills to keep communities across the country safe from the most violent offenders.

What You Will Do as Agent

There are many duties that you may come across as an agent. These duties range in various specializations and may include;

  • Investigating violations of federal laws and regulations related to the criminal misuse of firearms and explosives, firearms trafficking, acts of arson, and the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.  
  • Working closely with partners at the local, state, tribal and federal levels including from law enforcement and public safety officials to scientists and forensics experts.
  • Serving as an expert on a wide range of joint task forces to combat firearms trafficking, violent crime, and terrorism.
  • Conducting interviews of suspects and witnesses, surveil targets, make arrests, secure, and execute search warrants, and search for physical evidence.

This is no ordinary job, and our special agents are no ordinary individuals. Show us you have the talent and background we need, and we’ll show you the rewards that come with being special agent. We invite you to become part of our elite team. Explore a career that will take you to new heights while you serve your country and communities with integrity, excellence, and pride.

ATF Trailblazer Cindy Chang

Watch SA/CFI Cindy Chang's ATF story. 

Working at ATF

  • Women serve at the highest level of ATF as leaders, and we are committed to keeping these critical positions staffed by building a diverse, resilient, and skilled workforce of the highest quality that mirrors and represents the public that we serve.
  • We have included our commitment to improving gender diversity in our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) workforce policy.
  • ATF has formally made hiring, retaining, and promoting qualified women a strategic priority for our agency through public statements and internal orders.
  • Women are included in working groups making decisions about the procurement of tactical equipment and uniforms to ensure that appropriate items are available.
  • ATF has at least one recruiter in each of its 25 field divisions across the country.
  • The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA) provides up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.
  • ATF has taken steps to ensure new mothers have what they need when they return to work – especially those out in the field. We have spaces designated for nursing mothers and we allow for flexible schedules to accommodate breastfeeding.

Other Careers

ATF has many unique job opportunities to choose from including career advancement opportunities and promotions to specialized units. Today, the women of ATF serve in diverse roles throughout the agency, from law enforcement and regulation to intelligence, investigation, forensics, research, and mission support. Every day, they overcome a variety of emerging threats and challenges to help keep local communities safe from violent crimes.

Other exciting careers include:

Other Resources

 Ready to Apply?

  • Join Us! 


Last Reviewed March 5, 2024