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What’s it like to be a woman in the security industry?

Female security

So, you want to work in security, but the only thing is you’re female… Is the security industry for you? 
The answer is a resounding YES!

The security industry is generally recognised as a male-dominated field however, in recent years there has been a positive shift in the number of females working in the industry.

When someone mentions a security guard, many people picture an old-school bouncer; a big, tall, burly bloke who stands by a door with his arms crossed. This may have been the case 20 or so years ago, however security companies are now seeking approachable, friendly and well presented officers, with advanced conflict resolution skills. With this change, the industry is diversifying, and the need for female officers is growing.  

Women bring with them a different approach to conflict management. They continually prove their ability to use effective communication to diffuse heightened situations before physical aggression becomes an issue; a number of male officers have advised us they favour working with female officers when dealing with security risk situations.

We asked our very own female instructor, Kylie Schumacher, a few questions regarding her thoughts on working in a male-dominated industry. Kylie is part of the student liaison and training team here at Tactical, and plays a major role in building the confidence of our students, both male and female who are entering the industry.

Kylie completed her Certificate II and III in Security Operations training with Tactical in 2017 and upon being licenced, commenced working in the industry. She has worked crowd control and static guarding at a range of events, both big and small in countless locations across South Australia. Kylie, regularly works with the security team at the Adelaide Zoo at the various special events held there. She has also been responsible for Loss Prevention for a supermarket chain, and assisted in body guarding for a corporate client. 

We asked her about the challenges she has faced, opportunities she has encountered, and her advice for women interested in getting into security. This is what she had to say:  


Challenges faced as a female security guard

“With all jobs we expect there to be challenges. I think the biggest challenge for myself has been working in an industry where older male guards, who have been doing it for decades are still adapting to the idea of having women working beside them. I am constantly encouraging other females to push through this often-difficult period as I have personally witnessed their changing attitudes. Once you prove that you are all there to do the same job, and you have the skills to protect yourself and your colleagues, their appreciation towards you increases greatly. I have co-workers that at first, really struggled with the idea of working with a female, who now respect and request to be placed on duty with me.” 

Benefits of having female security guards

“I believe female security guards have the ability to respond quickly to confronting or hostile clients, displaying a level of empathy and understanding that can help de-escalate situations. This is an invaluable tool and something that has certainly not been overlooked in the security industry. Another benefit of being female is that job opportunities are endless. In any screening-type role, it is a legal requirement for there to be female guards to perform frisk searches on women. When working in licensed venues where alcohol and drugs can be an issue, having female guards to assist with intoxicated women is an asset.”

Support in the industry

“There is an abundance of support for women in the industry! The company I work with shows no discrimination towards females. We are given the same opportunities as the males and ideally, we have equal male to female ratios. Each guard I work with has my back, just as much I have theirs, and I know my male colleagues are very supportive.”

Female population in the industry

“I work alongside other female guards, and I have seen a lot more women doing security work in shopping centres and on patrols than when I first started. I have certainly noticed a shift in the gender balance, and the company I work for is a big promoter of the 50/50 balance of male and female security officers.”

Advice for females looking at joining the security industry

“Like any job, the industry has its good and bad days. You need to be open minded, confident and vigilant. Some people you meet will be very challenging and others very humble. You will be involved in often difficult situations, and you will have to rely on your teammates. It is a very rewarding job and you will meet so many people. You will develop great friendships and have a lot of fun!”

At Tactical Training we want to inspire women who are looking for something new and different to join the fast-paced, flexible and social work environment that the security industry offers. If security sounds like the role for you please contact us for more information; we would love to support you through the process, and encourage you to be part of the new look security industry!!

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