“CIA Takes Crack at Glass Ceiling for Spies”

In a Reuters article about the status of women in the CIA, Tabassum Zakaria touches upon CIA polygraph policy, including alleged bias against women, and notes that a woman heads the CIA polygraph unit. Excerpt:

Lawyers who handle lawsuits by female spies say while steps have been taken toward equality, there is still some distance to go. One such lawyer, Janine Brookner, a former CIA station chief who sued the agency and won a $400,000 settlement and a lifelong annuity, said the glass ceiling remains intact.

Single female spies working overseas are questioned more extensively about their sexual relationships during required periodic lie detector tests, Brookner said, “because there’s always the suspicion they’re sleeping with a foreigner.”

She said women are seen as more vulnerable to compromise due to a sexual encounter than are men.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow disagreed. “The woman who heads up our polygraph division I’m sure would not put up with any unfair treatment of women,” he said.