Diversity continues to be a growing topic of discussion as the business world finds the best ways to ensure innovative minds of all walks of life are represented. No differently than any other industry, the security community also continues to make efforts to create an inclusive environment that is helping us to innovate and grow.
With Thinkcurity's promise to continue to bring the most important topics and areas of growth to the private security forefront, we are producing a series of content highlighting the bright minds molded from unique experiences and backgrounds that continue to push our industry forward.
The series kicks off talking about women in private security security. Since Thinkcurity’s inception, we have been privileged to meet and engage with female owners/operators, guards, and administrators. These women have continued to develop successful careers and businesses, while simultaneously helping to advance the culture of a historically male dominated industry.
History of Women in Security
It wasn’t until a little over a decade ago that women started entering into the security industry. Prior to the massive growth in the cybersecurity sector, most security recruits came out of law enforcement, a predominantly male workforce.
As cybersecurity started to grow, women started to enter into the security workforce more regularly coming from other areas of IT. As cybersecurity and physical security started to intersect, we have continued to see an increase in women entering the security workforce across both sectors, especially in senior leadership roles.
Today at the security guard level, women make up about 21.5% of the workforce, with men making up about 78.5%.
Although the industry has adapted and encourages a more diverse workforce, identifying additional challenges that hinder these efforts have proven to be helpful.
Some of the most obvious challenges are seen in the differences of communication modes between men and women. While every individual is uniquely different due to their own experiences, science has shown that there are general differences between male and female personalities and communication styles that are consistent across cultures.
Males tend to be more assertive, dominant, and risk prone. While females tend to be more sociable, sensitive, and compassionate. Entering into an industry where the general communication style differs can be very alienating and challenging to get used to.
Security companies and leadership teams are more aware of these differences and are fostering changes within business culture that are more welcoming and open to all personality types. This not only helps women with more female-typical personalities enter into the industry, it opens a space for non-typical male and female personalities types (males who are more sociable/sensitive/compassionate and women who are more assertive/dominant/risk prone).
Growing Diversity in Your Security Company in 3 Steps
Growing diversity in your security operation is about establishing a well-rounded process of hiring, training, and team support. By implementing diversity from the very beginning of the hiring process and carrying that into the culture of the organization, security teams are more likely to adopt and promote an open and inclusive environment.
Building successful private security teams with unique and diverse individuals starts with the recruiting process. Identifying the type of people you want in your organization and then actively seeking them out sets your security operation up for success from the get-go.
Once the right team has been assembled, it’s not only important to train your team about emotional intelligence in the field, but also for the growth of a positive, inclusive company culture. Emotional intelligence will help to manage some of those communication differences discussed earlier.
Another part of encouraging and growing diversity in your company is creating strong security supervisors that will help drive these goals in their teams. Supervisors are the ones that set the tone and establish a foundation that the rest of the team models when they interact with internal personnel, clients, and the variety of individuals they are likely to come across on shift.
Creating an inclusive culture that makes room for diverse backgrounds of all kinds must be promoted at all levels of a private security company. Openness to others creates more receptive communication and collaboration that helps a business to grow and thrive.
Stay tuned for more on diversity over the upcoming months, and if you have a unique story you want to share with Thinkcurity, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!