Monthly Archives: December 2014

How More Women in Security Field Benefits Industry

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:

Get Educated

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.”

Source: El Dorado Insurance Agency, Inc.

Tips for Staying Safe at Work

A simple list of things people can do to stay safe at work

  • Keep your purse, wallet, keys, or other valuables with you at all times or locked in a drawer or closet.
  • Check the identity of any strangers who are in your office. If anyone makes you uncomfortable, inform security or management immediately.
  • Don’t stay late if you’ll be alone in the office. Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation after hours, or ask a security guard to escort you.
  • Report any broken or flickering lights, dimly lit corridors, broken windows, and doors that don’t lock properly.
  • If you notice signs of potential violence in a fellow employee, report this to the appropriate person. Immediately report any incidents of sexual harassment.
  • Know your company’s emergency plan. If your company does not have such a plan, volunteer to help develop one.
  • If the company does not supply an emergency kit, keep your own emergency supplies (flashlight, walking shoes, water bottle, nonperishable food, etc.) in a desk drawer.
  • If you work at home, in addition to making your home safe and secure, you should hang window treatments that obstruct the view into your office. You don’t want to advertise your expensive office equipment.
  • Review your insurance policy—almost all policies require an extra rider to cover a home office.
  • Mark your equipment with identification numbers, and keep an updated inventory list (with photos, if possible) in a home safe or a bank safe-deposit box. It’s a good idea to keep backups of your work in a secure, separate location as well.
  • Follow the same caution with deliveries and pickups that businesses do. Anyone making a delivery to your home office should be properly identified before you open the door. Do not let the person enter your home.If you own the company, take a hard look at your business—physical layout, employees, hiring practices, operating procedures, and special security risks. Assess the company’s vulnerability to all kinds of crime, from burglary to embezzlement. Follow basic crime prevention principles, and work with local law enforcement to protect your business.

Source: National Crime Prevention Council