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Experiences of women in security

Perpetuity Research’s latest study looks into the experiences of women in security. Sponsored by the contract guarding company ICTS UK & Ireland, the research is based on 706 survey responses and 21 interviews with ‘women in security’ from a range of roles who carry out or manage staff who undertake physical security tasks.

The researchers highlight that many women hold a positive perception of the security industry overall, and by no means have all struggled to progress or faced discrimination. However, it was apparent that a number of potential barriers to women entering and progressing in the sector exist. Hence there is a clear need for the industry to address these, the report suggests.

It was also apparent that many of the proposed approaches suggested by the women who took part in the research, would be of general benefit to the industry, not only by attracting and retaining female security personnel, but by helping to dispel outdated perceptions of what physical security work involves and create a working environment that is attractive to all and enables all staff to be treated equally.

ICTS UK & Ireland’s Managing Director, Andy Kynoch said: “We stand for equality and diversity within our organisation and the wider industry. There is currently a tremendous strength, enthusiasm and commitment from the security sector, whether working in partnership with the police, with other organisations and individually to continue to protect our people, properties and communities. A workforce of different skills, experiences and ideas is key.”

Perpetuity Research’s Research Manager, Charlotte Howell, said: “While a gender imbalance in some workplaces is no new concept, it is notable that women remain particularly underrepresented in the physical security workforce. Crucially, some respondents that had previously worked in other sectors (such as the police and prison service) felt that security was lagging behind. There remains a perception that security is a man’s world.

“But equally it was clear that the security sector can offer exciting, challenging and interesting careers to people with a wide range of skills and attributes. The research highlights the need for employers to take stock of their approach and consider the steps they can take to attract high calibre recruits regardless of gender, and further, once recruited, to ensure their workforce is truly treated equally.”

You can download a copy of the research report at: Other reports going back years are also available, covering such topics as loss prevention, fraud, and corporate security and suppliers.

The findings will be presented by Perpetuity at the UK OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit 2020, on Wednesday, February 26, at the Royal Lancaster London. More on the event here:


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