Gender Equality Assured: There’s a Place On The Team For All At The FBI

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Photo Courtesy of The FBI

Photo Courtesy of The FBI

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Fairygodboss
July 23, 2024 at 9:9PM UTC

As a military veteran and 21 years at the FBI, Janeen has spent a lot of time here and overseas working undercover and solving cases — doing what she loves most. Now as Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI Training Division, she’s finding equal fulfillment; and not just as a female leading in a male-dominated role. Believing gender has no place whether it’s in the field or any role you play, she’s made a career out of making her expectations known and expecting fair treatment. She shares her story here. 

What roles have you held while at the FBI? 

I became Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI’s Training Division in September 2020 and was Section Chief of its Curriculum Management Section prior to that. After leaving the military, I’ve had a number of positions in the FBI, including being a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) over a public corruption/civil rights/violent crimes against children squad. I was assigned to Headquarters as an Assistant Section Chief and Special Assistant to the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) Assistant Director, and I also was assigned to our international Legal Attaché Offices (Legats). My military experience made my transition to the FBI very easy, especially when I arrived for New Agent Training at the Academy in Quantico, VA. 

Do you believe your military background provided you with any unique perspectives or talents that aid your career today? 

As an Air Force officer, I was comfortable being a woman in a male-dominated institution. When I joined the FBI as a Special Agent assigned to a violent crime squad, I didn’t let my gender be an issue; I was one of the team. I didn’t treat other Agents as “male Agents'' or “female Agents,” nor did I let them treat me as such. I’ve always treated people fairly and been honest and open about my expectations. 

What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of? 

From the day I graduated from the Academy, I’ve wanted to work cases until I retire. I consider myself an informal leader and I’m okay with that because working cases and doing undercover work is what I love most. I never wanted to go into a leadership role. 

When I left Afghanistan after being on assignment there for the FBI for two years, I chose to be a SSA in the field instead of in a management role at Headquarters. I’m proud of that career move because it led me to where I am today. I learned a lot about myself as a supervisor and leader on an operational squad. It made me take a hard look at how I communicated and led. We always question ourselves on whether or not we are making a positive impact on the organization and our people. As I sit here today, it’s the first time I feel confident in saying that I have and do make positive contributions to the FBI and to our most important asset, our people. 

What’s your #1 piece of advice for women, especially other women veterans, who are looking for jobs right now?

Don’t undervalue yourself. As women, we bring different experiences, thoughts and skills to the table. But don’t expect to be treated differently because you’re a woman, either. Remember, your contributions to the mission are just as important as the next person’s. 

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