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Women in Security Feature: Alana Batschelet - ‘Everyone deserves to feel safe’

Women in Security Feature: Alana Batschelet - ‘Everyone deserves to feel safe’ Batschelet, lead federal accounts manager with Integrated Security Technologies, talks career paths, diversity, and more

Women in Security Feature: Alana Batschelet - ‘Everyone deserves to feel safe’

YARMOUTH, Maine—Alana Batschelet joined the Waipahu, Hawaii-based Integrated Security Technologies team in August 2020, bringing with her over 15 years’ experience specializing in customer relations and a passion for helping people.

Since starting with the company, she has taken an active role in the PSA Security Sales Strategy Committee and in 2022, took on the role of chairperson for that committee.

Alana BatscheletAs part of Security Systems News’ and the Security Industry Association (SIA) Women in Security Forum’s (WISF’s) continuing series highlighting the contributions of women in security, the following is an exclusive Q&A with Batschelet:

SSN: What is your current position and what is your role and responsibilities?

Batschelet: Currently I'm the lead federal accounts manager with Integrated Security Technologies. I'm responsible for managing relations with key federal clientele throughout the Indo-Pacific region. This includes providing guidance for the duration of the entire sales process and project life cycles, coordinating with internal and external stakeholders, and maintaining extensive documentation.

SSN: How did you get into and what inspired you to stay in the security industry?

Batschelet: My interest in security and helping people began during my time in the Army as a military police officer. I joined the Army in my senior year of high school during an active war time, so for several years I was very security focused, and my mind was wholly set on protecting people. I made a career change after getting honorably discharged, but still maintained my desire to help people (volunteering with local non-profits and giving back to the community whenever possible). It was the COVID-19 pandemic that brought me back into the security industry.

I was looking for a change of pace and several people recommended Integrated Security Technologies to me. The company culture and their mission statement are what really drew me back to the security industry. The focus on finding customized solutions and educating people fed into my passion for helping people. Everyone deserves to feel safe - whether in their homes, at their jobs, or just out running errands. The security solutions we help design, implement, and maintain can have a direct impact on people's daily lives. This is what inspires me to stay.

SSN: What has your journey been like in a primarily male-dominated and historically non-diverse security industry?

Batschelet: This journey has been challenging at times but also very illuminating. A majority of my adult career paths have been in primarily male-dominated industries. I grew accustomed to being one of the only females in any given room or situation. Combating the stereotypical ideas of women in these types of industries and the sexism has been a continuous battle.

There were countless times I felt I wasn't being seen as an equal, or that my contributions were not being equally valued. Due to that, early on, I struggled with asking my male counterparts for advice or help. I was always a fast learner and I pushed myself to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. During my spare time, I would read regulations, complete extra training, and research topics of things I didn't understand. At the time, I felt I needed to be seen as a subject matter expert to even have a "seat at the table."

Since my return to the security industry, I've seen the shift in the way women are treated and perceived.

The continued emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the industry is having an impact. Now when I walk into rooms and events, it is rare for me to be the only female. It is refreshing to see more women not only attending but participating in key leadership roles. It feels like women don't just have a seat at the table but are recognized as valuable contributors.

SSN: What have you found most challenging working in the security industry and how did you overcome it?

Batschelet: I would say my biggest challenge has been learning how the advancement of technologies has impacted the security industry. Technology changes rapidly and the ways it can be used to enhance all levels of security continue to impress me.

I've learned from my younger years that I no longer need to know everything. I lean heavily on the expertise of my team members and manufacturer partners to help me maintain a basic understanding of new technologies and security capabilities. I utilize my resources and rely on these experts to assist with developing the best solutions for our clientele.

SSN: Have you had any role models who have helped you out along the way that you would like to mention?

Batschelet: There have been numerous important people throughout my career who have helped me grow and overcome obstacles. I would not be the person I am today without them.

My hänai sister, my fiancé, key non-commissioned officers during my time in the military, specific managers as I transitioned to civilian life, and more recently, the members of the PSA Security Women's Committee. Each of these people has impacted my life, and I am a better person for knowing them.

SSN: What advice would you give other women thinking about getting into the industry or just starting out in the industry?

Batschelet: I would recommend three simple things:

1) Find a good mentor. Early on in life, I didn't understand the importance or value of having a mentor. Now, it is something I recommend to everyone - no matter how long you've been in the industry. It doesn't matter who you choose as your mentor as long as it is someone that you can talk with, learn from, and that can nurture your future thinking skills.

2) Join a networking group. We learn from shared experiences. Finding a network group that you are comfortable with is key. It may take a few attempts to find the right group(s) but once you find it, the impact is amazing. I highly recommend the PSA Security networking committees. There are a variety of groups, and each are capable of producing thought-provoking moments and guidance.

3) Remember it's ok to not know everything! Don't let your "inner voice" get the best of you. There will be plenty of times where you may second-guess yourself or experience imposter syndrome, but remember, you have a right to be at the table.

SSN: What are your views on the industry moving forward, both from a diversity perspective and a technology and business perspective during these unpredictable times?

Batschelet: The industry is ever changing and is continuously affected by the advancements of technology, world events, and people. People are the biggest asset any industry has, and we need to continue to grow an inclusive culture. Diversity is not solely based on gender or ethnicity, it also applies to a person's upbringing, education, and life experiences. Providing a space for equal collaboration and discussions is where creative solutions to changes in the industry will thrive.

SSN: What do you feel are the top trends, issues or challenges facing the security industry today?

Batschelet: Understanding the advancements in Al technology and cybersecurity hardening are key challenges in today's industry. It is crucial to have open discussion about cybersecurity threats, the potential vulnerabilities in legacy equipment, and how Al is being utilized to enhance and penetrate existing systems. Coordinating with trusted industry partners is imperative to discern viable solutions and continue your education.

SSN: Anything else that you would like to add?

Batschelet: The security industry is flourishing, and the need for talented individuals will continue to grow. Being eager to learn and flexible to the ever-changing advancements in technology will help you succeed in this industry.

I would like to thank Security Systems News, the Security Industry Association (SIA) Women in Security Forum (WISF), and Kasia Hanson for supporting and honoring women in security. Without diversity we become an echo chamber for stagnant behavior.


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