Women in Security
A licenced security job was never my first choice and I got into it by accident. And I love it.
And I’m guessing (or am I just being too stereotypical and biased against my own sex?) it’s probably not the first career choice for many women. And that is why there aren’t many female security guards in London or even wider UK.
Why aren’t there many women in security jobs?
Is it because security guarding is only for big chunky men? Or because it is dangerous? Or maybe a woman can’t handle aggressive behaviour? Or just because it is not marketed enough?
Well, let me break it up to you – none of this is true. Well except the latter. But let’s dig deeper into different myths.
We don’t live in the era of Al Capone anymore, where big rowdy bodyguards were needed to instil some fear into you. We don’t even call them bodyguards anymore nowadays. Well, at least not the majority but only those whose profession is close and personal protection. Today security guards come in all shapes and sizes. And genders.
But women are unfortunately still underrepresented but very much needed. What I found while working as a female security guard is that no matter what the job was, I always felt accepted and part of the team. The fear of being treated differently because of being a woman, disappeared the first time I did a job. Not only that my male counterparts were extremely respectful and treated me as equals, we were all also part of a team.
And being a part of the team means we work together and we support each other. Another thing that surprised me was that I wasn’t the only woman around. There was a small number of fellow female officers and we instinctively got together in a group before being deployed to our positions.
So no, security guarding is definitely not only for big chunky man.
Is it dangerous working as a female security guard?
When I told my parents about the new career, the first questions was if it was safe. And guess what, it is not more dangerous as any other job out there. There are few important things to understand. One – there are different roles within security guarding services, from night clubs and posh hotel receptions, to empty construction sites and summer festivals.
And each of these roles brings different responsibilities, expectations and risks. Just as does being a nurse, a teacher or an office worker. Some roles, and not only among security services but also across a range of other services and sectors, do present a higher risk but some are pretty low risk ones. And this brings me to the second point – you are almost never alone, especially in a higher risk roles.
You have a team beside you, to support you but also to keep you safe. On some occasions you are even better protected when working in the security sector because you are aware of the risks more, you can mitigate them and at the end of the day you make more educated choices and steps towards your safety.
So dangerous for a woman? I would first challenge you to define danger. And secondly I would argue that this job is not more dangerous as any other job that women around UK do.
Benefits of being a woman in a security career
People I know still ask me in how many incidents and fights I’ve been and are always disappointed when I tell them in none. Following the thoughts from a previous point – as women we bring different experiences and valuable skills to the job. Our approach can be gentler and softer.
Sometimes we are better with words and sometimes we can be as strong as our male partners. At the end of the day, we’ve been through the same security guarding training as they have which makes us equally qualified. So who says, we can’t handle incidents and indecent behaviour? I read a while ago, that when a fight breaks out in a bar, in most cases (especially if there are men involved), they will refrain from violence when a female intervenes.
Apparently, men are far more mindful of unintentionally harming a woman than a man. And male presence can only cause further aggression while a female presence can often bring a more relaxing approach to the situation.
Bring it on then – presence of female officers can only be a benefit. And again, remember, you are never alone.
And lastly – is it marketed enough? No. But it should be. Because there aren’t many women in the sector, but we do bring valuable skills to the job. Because we count as any other male security guard and we bring different dynamics to the team. Because as any other job, it gives us independence and confidence. And because if this is something we aspire to do or something we get accidently thrown into and we like it, who are others to tell us otherwise?
So why not join? Maybe you will love it just as I do.
Tadeja, Kingfisher SEC