SSN highlights women throughout the industry

 - 
Monday, November 27, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—For the ninth consecutive year, Security Systems News gets to shine a light on the achievements of women in security today, looking at ways in which we can get more women, in general, involved in upper management and leadership roles. While the industry still has a long way to go, most agreed it is changing for the better.

“Ten years ago, it was quite a different landscape,” said Renee Mallonee, director of marketing at MONI Smart Security. “Honestly, there weren’t that many women in the field and I have noticed that as a significant change over the last 10 years—something that I’m really excited about that makes me want to stay in the security industry.”

Christine Lanning, president of Hawaii-based Integrated Security Technologies Inc., said the industry has changed drastically since she first started.

“When I first started in the industry everybody kind of looked the same—typically older white gentlemen,” she pointed out. “And it wasn’t that there weren’t any women; there wasn’t racial diversity either. When I go to tradeshows and events today, though, I am definitely seeing a lot more women and more racial diversity.”

Ina Staris, vice president, legal, general counsel & corporate secretary for Securitas Electronic Security, said, “I am seeing more and more women in security, even at Securitas where we now have women techs, which was always very rare in this industry. I am also seeing more women in leadership roles, but it is an uphill battle because it is still very much a male-dominated industry.”

All agreed that leveling the playing field takes a concerted effort from all in the industry.

“It does start from the culture, and it’s hard to create an industry culture,” said Anu Herranen, Nortek Security & Control’s director of marketing and branding, who noted that Nortek has a “women in technology” team. “Increasing women industry wide can be a challenge, rooted in culture. It’s definitely easier to have the change taking place within each company. That means that the company culture needs to promote bringing women on board.”

Suzie Nye, vice president of operations for AvantGuard Monitoring Centers, suggested there could be a stronger focus on women in the industry, such as encouraging female support and participation at industry events. “A lot of the conferences we have here in Utah, you walk in there and most of [the attendees] are men,” Nye said. “Maybe it’s time we have some women start coming to those associations and … just getting involved and being part of that.”

Several mentioned the importance of championing other women in security. Jana Rankin, CEO of VuTeur, said, “I also believe as women we are supposed to give back and mentor those who are coming up behind us and encourage them to continue down the path.”

Here are the profiles of this year's featured Women in Security:

Ina Staris, Securitas ES

Christine Lanning, IST

Suzie Nye, AvantGuard

Renee Mallonee of MONI Smart Security

Jana Rankin, VuTeur

Anu Herranen of Nortek Security & Control