Calling all women in security

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03/21/2011

If you’re a woman who works in the security industry, we probably know each other, or we’ve seen each other.  I’m kidding, of course, but it does seem that way sometimes. There are not a lot of women working in security. I’ve been at industry conferences and—many times—been one of 20, 10, sometimes only two women in the room.

That does seem to be changing. I started working in security in 2005 and each year I interview more women for stories and I see more women at industry events. And, even if the increase is statistically small, I’ve met some very cool, smart and interesting women. JoAnna Sohovich, Lisa Roy, Jamie Haenggi, Sharon Shaw, Aisling MacRunnels, Kerry Egan, Jennifer Hollloway, and Shandon Harbour are just a few who come to mind.

In some ways, the dearth of women is not surprising. As I wrote in a special report “Women in Security” in January 2010, most women don’t grow up dreaming of a glam job in security. It's not a huge industry compared to others, and it's not on many people's radars. Most women who end up here either had parents in the industry, came from law enforcement/military backgrounds, or ended up here accidentally. And all of the women I spoke to for that report had had mentors (the vast majority of whom were men) who guided them in their security careers early on. Those women chose to continue working in the industry because they like the work. There are are challenging, high-paying, important jobs to be had in this line of work.

So I was excited to learn recently about a new group that’s being formed: the Women’s Security Council, which is designed to be “a network of successful professionals empowering women to realize their potential as industry leaders.” For starters, they’ll be offering online and on-site networking programs, educational discussions and Webinars, and special events.

The group is having its grand debut at ISC West this year. Sound good?You can sign up for updates here.  You can also email for more information directly at info@wscouncil.com Soon you’ll be able to become a member online, as well as at WSC events. Membership is $50 annually for regular membership and $75 annually for charter (founding) membership. The group will have membership forms at networking receptions, and will take checks on site or bill later.

 Remember to put these two events on your ISC West calendar:

1.WSC at ISC Kick-Off Networking Reception, April 5 at the V Bar in the Venetian Hotel, 6-8 p.m. RSVP to rhianna@wscouncil.com. (The group is still looking for sponsors for this event)

2. ISC West educational session on April 7 1-2 p.m. “The Woman’s Handbook to Professional Success in the Security Industry”

See you there!