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ST. LOUIS — Women are a vital part of the work the FBI conducts. The organization is looking for more women to join the ranks as they celebrate a milestone. I sat down with a St. Louis special agent to learn more about their search for candidates.

“The biggest challenge has been being in a male dominated environment and constantly needing to prove as a woman that you can stand next to a man and do the same job,” said St. Louis Special Agent Karen Feeney.

Twenty percent of the FBI’s roughly 35,000 employees are women. The organization wants more woman to apply because of their skills and success.

“Whether it’s interviewing skills, interrogations, computer skills, we all bring something and women have ability to bring some of the best things we need in organization,” said FBI agent Karen Feeney.

One of the first two women to join the FBI in 1972 was Joanne Pierce Misko. She was placed in St. Louis and paved a way for other women.

“In St. Louis I found agents accepting and just let me be an agent, and do my work, like everyone else. That’t how you prove yourself by doing the job,” said Joanne Pierce Misko.

Females work in every level of the FBI. Right now they do have some critical needs.

“IT, STEM, computer science, foreign language and intelligence. You can find both on the professional side and special agent side. We’re recruiting those individuals,” said FBI agent Karen Feeney.

Feeney became inspired in high school after doing a report and now she is encouraging other young women.

“If you have a desire and passion, do what you love, love what you do because you will get there,” said FBI agent Karen Feeney.

Fight now the FBI is accepting applications for 2018 internships and their college hire program. Those applications are due by October 15th.

Apply here: