Lesley J. Bikos is an academic, consultant, workplace investigator, and expert witness based in London, Ontario. Her research interests are primarily in the intersection of gender and workplace culture with a current focus on policing and police reform.
A former police officer, Lesley is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Western University. She holds an Honors BA in Sociology from Brescia University College as well as Diplomas in Law Enforcement and Police Foundations from Westervelt College and the Ontario Police College.
Currently, Lesley is working on a nation-wide study of Canadian police officers and the impact of police culture on their on and off-duty lives. In addition to her research, Lesley is a professor, public speaker, expert witness for legal proceedings, workplace investigator, and a consultant for workplaces looking to improve their diversity and gender equity policies.
Lesley is an active member of her community with a passion for social justice and politics.
Lesley’s current work is a nation-wide study on Canadian police officers and their perceptions of police culture and how it affects their on and off-duty lives. This work is the second phase of her research with Canadian police.
Her first study, "I Took the Blue Pill" attracted media attention nationwide and was an exploratory look at policewomen in Southwestern Ontario. With a small sample of 15 women from 5 police forces, it was meant as a starting point to explore if gender discrimination still exists in policing in Canada.
The results indicated that gender discrimination is still disturbingly prominent, despite formal policies initiated by the state and implemented by police forces.
During this study, the theme of police culture and its characteristics of hypermasculinity, solidarity, secrecy, and loyalty emerged as more pressing for many participants than their gender. To this end, Lesley opened the study to include male officers as a comparative group and shifted her focus to police culture and its complexities.
Lesley’s hypothesis is that gender discrimination is a symptom of police culture rather than a standalone issue. To-date she has interviewed over 75 police officers from 23 different police forces at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels across Canada. The interviews will continue into 2017 with a goal of interviewing over 100 officers. The focus of the results will be to assist in the reform of the institution for the benefit of both the officers working within it and the public it serves.