Women of ATF

Women have been an integral part of the ATF since our inception as part of the Internal Revenue Service during the Prohibition Era.

Notable women including Hannah Brigham, Georgia Hopley and others became some of the first women to join the force as prohibition agents. Not only did they combat illegal distilling, sales and distribution of alcohol, but they also served as a deterrent for bootleggers who had recruited women as smugglers, since male agents couldn’t touch them due to cultural norms of the time. These agents were recruited to serve their country and upload the law during a time when women were still fighting for their right to vote.

As a result of the trailblazing of their predecessors, many female agents and other professionals have since sworn to uphold offices across not just ATF, but across the agency and other levels of government, including in the Senior Executive Service.

Every year in March, ATF celebrates Women's History Month by highlighting the contributions of women, such as ATF’s first female prohibitions agents, to events in history and contemporary times. It is a month for ATF to acknowledge and remember all the contributions that women have made and continue to ensure the successes of the bureau’s mission.

The groundbreaking achievements of the first female prohibition agents allow us to celebrate all the women who have served, and are serving, for their significant contributions to ATF and the Department of Justice at large.

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