A Survey Reveals: Why Women are Important to the Security Sector
The security industry is a male-dominated sector, with female workers accounting for only about 11% of all security personnel in the UK. Despite this, there are many benefits to recruiting more women into the field: better communication skills, increased safety for workers and patrons alike, and improved ability to handle high-stress situations.
What’s more, the presence of female security operatives can bring different perspectives and allow for greater coverage in areas that male security guards may struggle with.
In order to gain a better understanding of female security workers’ experiences, Working the Doors conducted a survey of 94 British female security personnel, 87.1% of those who answered the question work directly on the frontline.
The survey asked about sexism and gender discrimination in the workplace, strategies to make the industry more attractive to female employees, and what both male and female security operatives bring to their roles.
The survey responses showed that women are often undervalued or treated differently by clients. Common experiences included patronising comments from customers, inappropriate questioning around personal life and opinions, and even threats of violence.
However, the survey also revealed that there are some positive aspects to being a female security guard. The majority of respondents said they received comparable or better wages than their male counterparts, and many reported feeling safer working with colleagues from both genders. Women were also found to bring unique skills to the security industry, such as better communication and multitasking abilities.
Benefits of women in security
There can be no doubt that female security operatives bring a unique set of skills to the workplace. Studies have shown that women are often better communicators, with greater ability to de-escalate volatile situations.
adding to that, one respondent said,
“99 percent of security is PREVENTION, RISK ASSESSMENTS AND FORESIGHT. If there is a physical altercation you have lost already…”
They are also more likely to multitask effectively and work well in teams. This means that mixed-gender security teams may be able to respond more effectively and efficiently to unusual or difficult scenarios.
Making the industry more attractive to women
Despite the benefits of increased female representation in security, the survey showed that there are still obstacles for women looking to enter this sector. These include inadequate training and support from employers, as well as male-dominated company cultures which can be uninviting or unwelcoming to new recruits, especially women.
In order to make the industry more attractive to potential female security operatives, it is important for employers to create an environment where everyone feels respected and comfortable. This could include providing additional training on gender bias and appropriate behavior, as well as introducing measures such as flexible working hours or family-friendly policies.
Why women find it hard working in security
The survey revealed some of the reasons why women find it hard to work in security. These included a lack of understanding about the roles and responsibilities, negative stereotypes associated with female security workers and a feeling of being overlooked or undervalued by clients.
Additionally, many respondents reported sexist attitudes from both their employers and customers, and a lack of understanding or recognition of the unique qualities that female security operatives bring to their roles.
Many of the women we met and had conversations with had a confident, capable, can-do attitude. But that does not change the fact that security is still a male-dominated industry and we must continue to strive for true gender equality in order to make it more attractive to female workers.
It is clear from this survey that there are benefits associated with having a diverse security team which includes both men and women, as they bring different skills and perspectives to the role. However, in order for women to feel comfortable and respected within this environment it is important that employers provide appropriate training, support and a culture which values everyone equally. It is only then that we can truly appreciate the contributions of both male and female security operatives alike.
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