At the end of 2020, Thinkcurity set out on a mission to discuss diversity within physical security, wanting to uncover all of the great, unique minds that make up the industry. Within this discussion, we are excited to highlight female physical security leaders who are making an impact within their organizations and our industry.
We sat down with Mish Marie, CEO of Weapon X Security, to discuss her experience in the industry, how she believes we can empower women in the industry, and general industry thoughts.
Weapon X Security’s corporate office is based out of Los Angeles, but they serve all regions in California with guards on call 24/7. Their most popular services include armed and unarmed security guards, mobile patrols, executive protection, loss prevention, fire watch, and their newly added COVID-19 Support. The organization supports clients from all industries, including residential, commercial, industrial, hospitality, schools, private events, and medical facilities.
Weapon X Security guards are required to have at least 5 years of experience, and in addition to standard California guard cards and BSIS compliance, they are trained in numerous other areas like emergency preparedness, surveillance, crowd control, de-escalation, and anti-terrorism techniques.
Along with her team, Mish has helped to build a successful operation with well-trained security officers and satisfied clients, bringing respect and trust to the communities they serve.
Joining Weapon X Security in mid-2020, Mish’s background is in hospitality and IT, having worked in hotels, restaurants, and small tech companies . Finding a passion in HR and managerial skills, Mish was on the search for a job that would fulfill those passions where she could make a difference. Having stumbled upon Weapon X, she quickly grew from a management position into the CEO role.
Q: What’s your mission? How do you bring that into your operation and the rest of the physical security industry?
A: I am a very thoughtful and compassionate person. I want to see that more in the physical security industry, which is something that has inspired me to get into the women-in-security topic.
My company is male owned, women-managed. I was talking to our female VP, and we were both wondering “What's up with all our security guards? They're predominantly male.” Most of our applicants are also mostly male, and we wondered how we could get more females into the industry, provide a different view on the industry, get a more compassionate edge to it - the softer side of security in there.
I think one of the main reasons we don’t see more female applicants is because they think it’s a potentially dangerous job. I think we just need more information and awareness out there about all the different kinds of jobs that you can get within physical security. That would help get more women interested in the industry.
Q: How do you think we can empower women to start researching this stereotypically more masculine industry, in addition to creating more awareness about the general topic of diversity in physical security?
A: If you take what are considered male-dominated industries, these days females are trying to get more into these areas. For example, I really love how IT and STEM fields are starting to cater more towards women . Tech and gaming are some examples of traditionally masculine industries, similar with military and physical security. There are a lot of us trying to change this traditional stigma and make these industries more gender-neutral through conversation and tools like social media. That helps a lot with awareness.
Specifically within the physical security industry, they always use male stock photos, both for armed and unarmed guards. It would be great to see more female security guards or a mixture of males and females. Our main goal is not to make the industry more women dominated, but to have more gender-neutrality across the industry, equal representation of both genders.
I also think that if we could offer some sort of firearm training for women that could help awareness and make women feel more safe. It would help make everyone feel more safe and secure, because men shouldn’t be the only ones who know how to handle a firearm and take care of themselves. I think women should have that knowledge and access to that knowledge as well.
Q: Weapon X employs armed security guards. Do you work with anyone for firearm training or have any organizations that you would like to recommend to stay compliant?
A: We go through BSIS (Bureau of Security and Investigative Services) for all of our security guards, and we highly recommend them, especially for regulation and training basics. It helps to understand the gun laws in your area and what training security guards are required to complete and the laws they must abide by. If you take a look at the BSIS website, all of the information is right there. It’s also really helpful if you are just interested in firearms. You will be able to see what rules and regulations are in place and see that they don’t have to be something super-crazy dangerous. It’s more like, ok these are controlled and accessible to me. I think that’s important.
Q: What do you feel like the physical security industry is doing really well and what do you feel like the industry needs to be better at?
A: I definitely think that the rules and regulations that we have are working really well, with the specific laws and protocols in place that all security guards have to abide by based on county and state. What we need to do better at is more diversity in the workplace, for sure.
Q: Are there any last points that you want to make? Anything that we didn’t touch on?
A: If I can just go back a little bit to the topic of security guard stereotypes, I hope that in the future we can get away from those stereotypes. Not every security guard is a wannabe cop. Some people just want to be security guards. I really hope that going forward, we can see them in a different light and have a little more respect towards security guards. These hard workers are putting their lives at risk everyday to keep our communities safe, and I feel they need some better PR so that people can better understand what a day in the life really looks like for these positions.
To learn more about Weapon X Security and the great work Mish and her team are doing, you can check out their website here or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Interested in being a part of a diverse and growing organization? You can also take a look at their careers page for job opportunities.
Passionate about diversity and want to share your story? Contact the Thinkcurity team at firstname.lastname@example.org.