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Women’s Security Society relaunch

A rather splendid 29th floor suite of Guy’s Hospital in London was the venue for the re-launch of the Women’s Security Society.

The host was Jayne King, head of security and site services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, who introduced Houdah Al-Hakim. She recalled how the Society had been quiet for a couple of years; and in 2019 planning went on for several months for a new board; ready to go. Then came covid. Everything got put back; six months, then 12 and 18. The launch evening on Thursday, July 21 came after a couple of social gatherings as ‘soft launches’.

Who was there? Women of all ages, colours, and stages of careers, from women wearing an SIA badge to the chief exec of the Security Industry Authority Michelle Russell. That sheer variety of women in the sector was also evident in a panel compered by Anas Wihaib that spoke for an hour and covered a range of industry and social issues, some relevant to women alone, some as relevant to men. The well-received panel was:

– Somera Bahadur, a recent graduate, who joined the guarding and stewarding contractor FGH Security nine months ago as an ops administrator and is now an operations coordinator;
– Kelly Raines of the guarding firm Bidvest Noonan, who began as a security officer and who’s a site security manager in London;
– Emma Farrow, an auditor for the National Security Inspectorate – she’s been at the NSI five years and in the security sector for 16;
– Sabrina Bains, senior security EMEA at Walt Disney Company;
– and Hannah Wadey, joint chief exec of the London-based Safer Business Network, a grouping of business crime reduction partnerships.

About the WSS board

Few if any of the Women’s Security Society board should need introducing to Professional Security readers. Jayne King is chair of umbrella group the Security Commonwealth and president of the National Association of Healthcare Security; Houdah Al-Hakim is CEO of Quick Click Security; Ruth Ripley is a manager at FGH Security; Sian Doherty we featured only in the June print edition of the magazine, as the MD of Bristol-based ARC Monitoring in our feature on alarm monitoring; Anas Wihaib we featured in the later 2010s when she was a Business Crime Reduction Partnership Manager in Southwark, south London – she’s now a corporate security analyst at Twitter; and Anna-Liisa Tampuu is a co-chair of the Inclusive Security Special Interest Group, at the Security Institute whose online launch during covid we featured in 2020. We’ve featured the women-only business travel network she founded, SheTravel. Anna-Liisa is speaking on diversity at the International Security Expo at London Olympia, on day one of the two-day show, Tuesday, September 27.

What next?

The WSS plans to launch its membership programme in September; the launch event also heard of plans to offer mentoring, and not just for those in the early years of their career. In fact being a mentee as well as a mentor was recommended. Also mooted is a jobs board (including internships); online seminars, and quarterly networking events, initially in London.

More in the September print edition of Professional Security Magazine.

Photo by Mark Rowe; the WSS launch attenders, after the panel spoke.


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