The security industry is commonly regarded as a field dominated by men, often equipped with military or law enforcement experience. However an increasing number of women are gaining interest in the field given the robust opportunity available.
One of the most attractive features of the security industry is the inherent duty of helping keep people safe. Upon her first few years at American Alarm, Maria Moretti explains what captivated her about her role in security. “There was great satisfaction in everything that I did because I was helping people all day long,” she said. “I just got drawn into that daily act of helping people, whether it was answering panic signals during a robbery at a bank, or if there was a smoke carbon monoxide alarm, and we needed to keep people safe.”
Both men and women alike can find great satisfaction in knowing that their role in society is to help others and to keep people safe. As more women are finding this opportunity, students or persons looking for a career change can learn from those who have made it. In learning from the successful in the industry, here are some pieces of advice they offer:
Take advantage of the training programs your company offers. “Basically, learn all you can about the industry regarding the product, codes and protocol regulations for alarm response,” says Maria Moretti, now command center manager at American Alarm. Whether it’s taking a community college course, an online course, or simply reading and absorbing as much information as possible on the internet, the first step to getting into the industry is to come armed with knowledge.
Sharpen Communication Skills
Given the sensitive nature of many tasks within the security sector, excellence in written and verbal communication can translate into leadership opportunities. An example of whom is Eleonora Tumbiolo, a security industry veteran for over 15 years and the District Manager for AlliedBarton Security Services. “Brush up on your communication skills,” advises Tumbiolo. “While women tend to be good communicators, it helps to become comfortable in public speaking which enhances your communication skills with employees, clients and upper management.” In fact to hone in on her own skills, Tumbiolo set out to overcome her fear of public speaking and joined a local chapter of Toastmasters.
Get Involved, Network
Just like any other professional division in the world, networking is a helpful strategy in climbing the ranks of the security industry. Start by asking around at a local college campus or check out local groups who meet regarding the industry. Yet the biggest move is to join your local ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security) International chapter. By participating in an association specifically dedicated to increasing the productivity of security professionals worldwide, you’ll be surrounded by security leaders who can help you learn some of the success strategies they’ve found over the years.
The most successful teams are a blend of the best men and women, allowing industries to utilize the greatest talent and resources available in the business world. As we collectively provide opportunities for those willing to put in the effort to succeed, we will continue to see more women as leaders and managers in both the security and any other job field. Yet the security sector offers unparalleled opportunity and should gain more visibility for young students and those interested in a challenging and rewarding career. A supporter of this idea is Maureen S. Rush, M.S., CPP, Vice President for Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania who directs the tactical and strategic direction of the Division of Public Safety and over 175 staff members. Rush confirms, “Women should not be caught in the old mythology about what she can or cannot do. Women should know that there is nothing they cannot do if they set their mind to it.”