Milwaukee FBI celebrates 50 years of female agents

NOW: Milwaukee FBI celebrates 50 years of female agents

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The FBI has been around since 1908, but it's just in the last 50 years that women have held the rank of agent.

Female agents tell CBS 58 they're treated just like their male counterparts behind this wall. And they're thankful for the women who were here before them.

Alaska Davidson was one of three women hired as FBI special agents in the 1920s, their tenure terminated early. Not until 1972 did women finally get another chance.

"Just thinking about how it was just 50 years ago that we had the first female special agents, 50 years ago is really not that long," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Amanda Knutson.

And yet, long enough that Special Agent Amanda Knutson never had to question whether she could get into this field.

"So I was just one of those agents that always wanted to do it and here I am. In the FBI, women serve in all levels of management and in all roles. We have SWAT operators, crisis negotiators, evidence response team leaders, defensive tactics instructors, fitness instructors that are all female," said Supervisory Special Agent Knutson.

And about 30 percent of all squads at the Milwaukee field office are run by women.

"I've never had any experiences where I felt I was treated differently because I was a woman here in the FBI and I mean I attribute that to all of the trailblazing women that came before me," said Supervisory Special Agent Knutson.

Law enforcement is a male-dominated career. The FBI is the same.

"But yes as an investigator, I am often the only female on my squad. It is not uncommon to be the only female in a meeting from time to time," said Supervisory Special Agent Knutson.

Female agents often find value from bringing something to the job that men don't.

"The diversity in skill sets is what makes us successful. I can honestly say no, I never felt like being a woman was a disadvantage," said Supervisory Special Agent Knutson.

The FBI is looking to hire. The Milwaukee office is hosting an agent recruitment event in Brookfield in September and encouraging women to attend.

"Just because you're a female don't think that you can't do this. We do everything our male counterparts do," said Supervisory Special Agent Knutson.

You must pre-register for the September event here. Select "view all jobs" and search for "Dar Milwaukee."

The diversity agent recruitment event will be held from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on Sep. 7 in Brookfield.

The FBI is also hiring financial analysts. They're invited to attend the event as well.

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