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Women in Security feature: Beverly Wilks

Women in Security feature: Beverly Wilks

Beverly WilksYARMOUTH, Maine—As 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, this month’s feature is on Beverly Wilks, senior marketing manager and team lead – Security & Network at Bell, based out of Montreal. Wilks told SSN that she is “responsible for a team that develops, executes and manages network and security-focused marketing initiatives across Canada for the Bell Business Market group.”

The following is an exclusive Q&A with Wilks:

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

WILKS: My marketing career journey has been very interesting and enjoyable. From a young age I knew that marketing was going to be my career path as I saw how advertisements had a way of impacting how people feel, and what they buy.

I started my career as a media buyer for a small advertising agency that was focused on healthcare, then I transitioned to an electronics component distributor. From there I dove into the gaming industry, and then moved to mobile phone technology. I was introduced to the security industry by a friend and started as a manager of end-user marketing at a physical security company. During this time I fell in love with the fast pace of the security industry, the impact that these solutions have on communities and organizations, and I discovered that this is an industry where I can make a difference.

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

WILKS: I have had a positive experience in this industry and am grateful for strong leaders who are helping to pave the way for more women, and people of color to join and excel. It’s been proven that having a diverse team helps to bring different perspectives and points of view to inform business decisions, and this helps to positively contribute to the bottom line.

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

WILKS: The one thing that is constant in the security industry is change. There is always something to learn, something to reflect upon.  The way that I stay up to speed is to be an active participant in industry associations, groups and forums. This is where I can hear about new technology, solutions and learn how others are tackling challenges.

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

WILKS: There are many women who I admire in (and out) of the industry. One leader who comes to mind is Carla Harris of Morgan Stanley – she has created a series of books on leadership that have been helpful on my journey.  Another leader who I admire is Mary Ellen Carroll from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. We met a few years ago at an industry event and she shared how she and her team manage city challenges, implement technology and collaborate with the community to keep businesses and citizens safe.

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

WILKS: This is a great industry to be a part of! It is fast moving, constantly changing and is a place where you can work on solutions that have a positive impact on where people live, work and play.

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? 

WILKS: There is an African proverb that I like - “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Collaboration is key when building and managing security solutions, and in order for the industry to continue to grow, we need to continue to build bridges between communities, businesses and diverse groups. 


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