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Women in Security: ‘You cannot be what you cannot see.’

Recruitment is a key issue in any industry. Finding, training and then retaining the best talent is what all businesses strive to achieve. Considering the security industry is only 10% female, there is a huge, untapped market of potential candidates.

In the coming weeks, we will be talking to key women within SecuriGroup for their perspective on the lack of representation in security roles, raising awareness of the options and opportunities a career in the security industry offers, and attracting people who have probably never considered a career in the security industry.

SecuriGroup Chair - Baroness Ruth Henig CBE

 

Diversity is something you can see when it is in action.

 
​Baroness Ruth Henig CBE

SecuriGroup Chair, Baroness Ruth Henig CBE, has spent a lifetime in public service, spanning academia, local government, police authorities and government bodies.

Her many roles include Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and President of The Security Institute. In recent years, she has become a specialist in policing and the development of the private security sector.

"The industry, yes, is dominated by males, but I have worked with some very inspirational people in the security industry. It is also true that there are not that many women in top positions, and I have done my best to try and change that, but I would say that there are a lot of women now in middle management positions; women are moving up the ladder."

She is very confident in the next few years that there will be change.

"Women bring a different set of skills to bear, and this is being recognised and prized." 

She highlights where there has been progression and examples of where things are changing:

"Take door supervisors, for example, who are a staple in the private security industry. At the last count, something like 12% of door supervisors were female.

One of the reasons they are particularly prized is for tending to have a different set of skills; they are generally much better at negotiation, much better at diffusing confrontation, and therefore bring different skills to those situations.

I think that's very important. Increasingly we will see that diversity encouraged. We have got to keep the pressure on all the time to keep moving, and to try and actually make the progress that is needed.

Diversity is something you can see when it is in action."

Gender balance in the security industry

 

Despite the increase in the number of women choosing a career in security over the last decade, women still make up only about 10% of the security workforce. Often regarded as a male-dominated field, private security can be seen as a less attractive career opportunity for women.

The security industry has seen great advancements and improvements over the last fifteen years as a result of increased regulation by the Security Industry Authority, yet public perception of the modern security industry still has to catch up.

In a recent campaign, RBS chose to have security guards give password advice, acted by two threatening men with deep voices. Whilst the security industry has changed, it is clear from campaigns like this – which also serve to reinforce this image – the problem of perception still remains.

Perception

 

In a recent poll of SecuriGroup employees, focused on the lack of women in the industry, one issue stuck out – security has a PR problem.

If the industry is to grow and attract other high calibre individuals to join, we must get better at showing and celebrating the good quality people already in our industry, the interesting roles they perform, and the amazing and diverse environments in which they work.

The greatest asset of SecuriGroup is our people; from the board room to the frontline, the quality of our service relies on the quality of our staff. As SecuriGroup Operations Director, Allan Burnett QPM FSyI, stated in a recent article:

"Our people preserve our safety, and look after our property, with a big commitment to what is 'out of hours' to the general public. While the police, through cuts and competing priorities, struggle to maintain their presence, our guards and stewards are there."

 
by Allan Burnett QPM FSyI

Our priority will always be our people, and it is now more important than ever to show the importance and value of the private security, the wide range of roles and opportunities available, and our amazing people who make it all possible.

The good news is that – despite its perception – the security industry is evolving, with higher standards, more career paths emerging, and more responsibility than ever.


For all media enquiries, please contact the SecuriGroup Communications team at communications@securigroup.co.uk

About Us

SecuriGroup is one of the UK's leading security companies, rated within the top 5% by the Security Industry Authority. SecuriGroup is part of the ACS Hall of Fame and is a winner of the prestigious Security Excellence Awards ACS Champion of the Year.

An SIA Approved Contractor, Investors in People organisation, industry accredited for operational excellence; SecuriGroup is an organisation led by industry experts and is focused on meeting the challenges of a modern security industry.