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Long time, no blog.

I admit, I have been on the blogging sidelines for several weeks now while my new comrade, Managing Editor Ken Showers, has settled in and immediately given his thoughts on various relevant security industry topics under my old blogging banner, Monitoring Matters.

As I’m now officially the editor of Security Systems News, my blogs will now fall under the title of On the Editor’s Desk, which you obviously know since you found me and are reading this right now.

Now that I am done explaining my absence, it’s time to get back to business, and over the last several weeks, as I’ve settled into my new role as editor of SSN, I’ve been working on some exciting things that I’m very much a part of, and extremely excited about.

One of those ventures involves our partnership with The Monitoring Association (TMA) for the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Award, with the goal of promoting and fostering a more inclusive workforce throughout the security industry.

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar with TMA CEO Celia T. Besore and Steve Butkovich of CPI Security to talk about the DEI Leadership Award, the benefits that DEI engagement offers to your company, and go over the application process.

I know I may sound like a college professor giving a lecture, but it’s important to note that workforce development is one of the key topics within security today, and the focus and conversation has turned to building a strong company culture that attracts quality candidates and inspires them to want to stay and grow in your company.

As we know, the security industry has faced a serious staffing shortage since the onset of COVID-19 more than two years ago. I think it’s safe to say that by creating an environment that is inclusive, open and based on a strong DEI framework, that’s going to be key in successfully hiring and retaining top talent.

When we engaged in discussions with TMA about what we wanted to achieve by establishing this DEI Leadership Award, the main goal was to advance and raise industry awareness of the importance and value of being a diverse and inclusive industry, as well as recognize those companies that have developed innovative initiatives to foster DEI efforts within their organization.

Please understand that while the DEI award is open to TMA member organizations, the hope is that companies throughout the security industry will - if you haven’t done so already - create, foster, and encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace environment through programs and initiatives that stimulate innovation, drive better decisions, and make teams more agile - resulting in better business outcomes for your employees and customers.

As Stephanie Weagle, Chief Marketing Officer for Atakama and our Women in Security Forum (WISF) featured subject for our September issue, said about DEI in the security industry, “I can say without a doubt there has been a general shift to embrace diversity and introduce proactive programs to foster inclusion. It is important to recognize that supporting a gender-diverse culture is not about the number of women and men around the table, but also about breaking down barriers faced by both men and women in the workplace.” 

Lisa Oliveri, Director of Global Risk Management, Security, and Operations for the National Democratic Institute, and a member of the SSN “40 under 40” Class of 2021, added, “In recent years, there has been greater attention on and efforts to support women in security, young professionals, and diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry. I think we will see those trends continue and it will strengthen our industry talent pool and advancement.”

For those TMA members interested in submitting their application for the inaugural TMA/SSN DEI Leadership Award, please visit Applications are due by Sept. 8, so what are you waiting for?

I also must note that the DEI Leadership Awards will be presented during TMA’s annual meeting, taking place Oct. 29-Nov. 2, at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida. I can’t wait to hand out these awards in person! 

As we stated when we officially announced the award in May, DEI improvements in organizations result in “higher levels of employee engagement and better financial performance.” Isn’t that what every company wants?


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