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Women in Security Feature: Diana Hanna, PSA Security

Women in Security Feature: Diana Hanna, PSA Security

Women in Security Feature: Diana Hanna, PSA Security

YARMOUTH, 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 PSA Security National Director of Business Development and Strategic Accounts Diana Hanna, who focuses on recruiting new companies to join PSA while working closely with companies that are already equity owners of PSA.

PSA is a global systems integrator consortium made up of the most progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators in North America. Combined, PSA members boast more than 500 branch locations, employ more than 13,500 industry professionals and are responsible for more than $4.5 billion annually in security, fire, life safety and pro audio-visual installations. PSA’s mission is to empower its owners to become the most successful systems integrators in the markets they serve, and brings this mission to life by partnering with industry leading product and solution providers, delivering unparalleled education and training programs and by offering a variety of distinctive services that can enhance any company’s operations.

The following is an exclusive Q&A with Hanna:

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

HANNA: I started in the consumer video business when there were video stores that rented movies and sold tapes and VCR’s. Then I moved into the broadcast video world for a short time and was pulled in the security side by a rep company that I worked for. The first product line I sold on the security side of the industry was RCA. Wow that was a long time ago!

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

HANNA: It has been mostly good; I am ok being in a room full of men. I grew up with a house full of brothers so it was not hard for me to be around all men. I do not think I could have survived at the beginning if I didn’t have thick skin. There were a few times that I could not get product lines because I was a female principal, but I just moved on and found a better product line to sell against the ones that turned me down.

Back in those days they told me they could not hire me because I was female; that wouldn’t happen today. At least I hope it wouldn’t happen today. Women are great salespeople – we are very organized and build great relationships and we are very good at relationship selling.

SSN: What has been done to get more women/diversity into leadership/management roles in the industry, and what else can be done?

HANNA: I feel we have come a long way but have a long way to go. We still do not see a lot of women CEOs in the security industry, for example.

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

HANNA: When I first came into the industry it was hard to get people to listen to me as a female and really be heard. I had to ask more questions than my male counterparts so that people understood that I knew what I was talking about. The industry has always been ever changing and you need to learn the industry and products. You cannot fake it. If you do not know answers to questions you need to not be afraid to say you don’t know something and go find the answers.

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

HANNA: Customers, I have learned so much from every customer I have had. I learned how important relationships are from them.

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

HANNA: Give it a chance – there are lots of opportunities in the industry. I never thought as a 20-year-old that I would be in the security industry because it wasn’t a “glamorous” industry. However, I have learned a lot and gained some great business relationships from some very smart people. Also, you must think that you are making the world a better place with security products.

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

HANNA: I am glad I am in the security industry; we are here to save lives and cut down on crime. With products like thermal cameras we are trying to help keep people safe during the pandemic. We should be proud we are in an ever-changing industry, staying up on technology, and helping to make our country a safer place to live.


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