Two members of congress are calling for the Secret Service to increase the number of female agents. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Senator Susan Collins spoke out about the importance of women in the Secret Service in light of the recent scandal in Colombia in which agents were accused of misconduct involving prostitutes. Paula Reid, a Secret Service supervisor, has been commended for her role in the crackdown on the agents.

On “This Week” on ABC, Rep. Maloney praised Special Agent Reid’s actions, saying “she really went in there and cleaned up the mess.” Rep. Maloney also said, “I can’t help but keep asking this question, where are the women? We probably need to diversify the Secret Service and have more minorities and more women.”

Rep. Maloney said Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan estimated that women make up only 11% of the Secret Service. Special Agent Reid, an African-American woman, has said that the Secret Service needs to diversify. She told Women for Hire’s online newsletter that “the general public is intrigued to see a black female in my position. They always need to confirm that I really am a special agent. I enjoy being a role model for women and minorities.”

New York Times 4/22/12; Washington Post 4/22/12; Women for Hire 2012