The Socioemotional Skills of Women for Intelligence Performance in the National Intelligence Directorate in Colombia

Nadia García Sicard, César Niño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditionally, security issues in Colombia have been operated by military institutions with a high percentage of male participation. Since the creation of the National Intelligence Directorate (NID) in 2011, this masculinized and militarized environment of security issues has been transformed by the creation of a civilian institution with 45.7% female participation in highly recognized profiles. The participation of women in the institution has exposed socioemotional skills that characterize their strategic role at the NID. To research how gender distinction in socioemotional skills influences intelligence processes within the NID, eight semistructured interviews were conducted with seven women and one man, and a specialized literature review on the building of socioemotional skills distinction by gender was carried out. There were three main results: first, the NID has gender parity because, being a civilian agency, it clashes with a masculinized tradition of other military-based national intelligence agencies; second, the representative participation of women in strategic roles within the NID demonstrates that their socioemotional skills are a useful resource for intelligence activity; third, on the one hand, the overexploitation of socioemotional skills and “smart intelligence” leads to overburdening women in their tasks and responsibilities on both professional and personal levels, but on the other hand, it is harder for women to show results and be recognized for their work in the Colombian Intelligence Community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-612
JournalInternational Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 22 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


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