a&s talked to several women in security to find out how they got into the industry, why they think there are so few women in the industry, and what we can do to encourage more women to be a part of it.
A look at any of the major security shows will reveal that there is a pretty big imbalance of women to men in the security industry. This gap, however, is changing, but slowly.
talked to several women in security to find out how they got into the industry, why they think there are so few women in the industry, and what we can do to encourage more women to be a part of it.
a&s: Some research has shown that women only represent 10 percent of the security industry. Why do you think that is? Is this discrepancy something you feel is very obvious in the industry?
Andrea Iniguez, VP of Business Development at Theia Technologies:
There is a long tradition of male bias in many industries; unfortunately there is no reason to expect that the security industry would behave differently. If anything, bias may be more deeply rooted in this industry since security encompasses, and indeed was engendered by a need for physical security, originally with an emphasis on physical strength, the traditional domain of men. Obviously, there is so much more to security today than what’s provided by physical strength and women have much to offer.
Jody Ross, VP of Strategic Accounts at AMAG Technology:
When I first started, there were very few women in the security industry. I almost cringe to say that women were considered a novelty. Today, more women have degrees in business and technology-related fields that cross over well to the security industry. Fortunately over the years, the female presence has dramatically increased and has chipped away at the historically male-dominated industry.
a&s: Do you feel that there any advantages to being a woman in the security industry? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
As a woman who has spent her career in traditionally male-dominated fields, I have found that being a woman can be an advantage briefly. A woman stands out often for her sheer rarity — there are so many occasions when I have been the only woman in a room of engineers. But once the novelty wears off, a woman must be competent, perform and make a contribution like any man. Changes are happening, but too slowly and in an imbalanced way. Just as women are taking on more roles and responsibilities in the work world and government, men must take on more responsibilities in the home and personal sphere — not a wholesale swap of roles, but a balancing of them, to achieve more equality.
Absolutely there are advantages. I have found that women tend to be more conscientious and thorough for the most part. That is a large advantage when working with customers, both new and existing, as well as juggling multiple relationships, project details, and timelines. Since the industry has hung on to a little bit of that male-dominated stereotype, a confident, capable and detail-oriented woman really shines above the rest.
a&s: What can we do to encourage more women to be a part of the security industry? Do you think it’s important for more women to enter the industry?
Sadiye Guler, Founder and CEO of intuVision:
I think it is important for women to be part of any industry, not just security. This will only be possible if more female students go into science, technology and engineering fields.
It’s incredibly important for more women to join the security industry. Diversity is key. In order to accomplish this, we need to provide women with more opportunities that often went to men in the past. Companies need to hire and promote women into sales and management positions.
Daniela Hossmann, Head of the Regional Business Unit Intrusion in EMEA at Bosch
I think it is important for women to enter every industry since we bring in a way of working which is both result-oriented and pragmatic while also team caring and working toward long-term success of a company.