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Women in Security Profile: ‘Diversity is needed to advance our industry,’ says Yazmina Rawji

Women in Security Profile: ‘Diversity is needed to advance our industry,’ says Yazmina Rawji

Women in Security Profile: ‘Diversity is needed to advance our industry,’ says Yazmina Rawji

YARMOUTH, Maine—Yazmina Rawji is extremely passionate about the importance of creating a more diverse security industry.

“Diversity is needed to advance our industry and attract/retain the best talent,” said Rawji, the relationship manager for dormakaba Americas’ Access Automation Solutions division. “This in turn will increase engagement and trust amongst employees. Increased engagement can lead to better performance and stronger business results and profits. Diversity and inclusion allow one to be connected and feel a part of something larger than ourselves.”

SIA Women in Security ForumAs part of Security Systems News’ and the SIA Women in Security Forum’s continuing series highlighting the contributions of women in security, the following is an exclusive Q&A with Rawji:

SSN: What are your current roles and responsibilities?

Rawji: As the relationship manager, I identify, prioritize, and execute programs to help grow top of the funnel and drive new customer acquisition and business growth. I am responsible for the selection, optimization, logistics, reporting and analysis for entrance systems, interior glass systems, and the Alvarado dormakaba Group for growth in events, trade shows and association memberships. I integrate our business unit and partner with our product, brand and sales units to better understand customer behavior, needs and uncover insights that will drive KPls and continued growth. I am also chair of our dormakaba Women's Network.

SSN: What has your journey been like in a male-dominated industry without much diversity?

Rawji: Varied and interesting. Many times in my career I have been "the only." The only woman in the room and in the building. In developing countries, imagine how women are perceived! I was either the president's wife, secretary, or mistress. It was difficult at first, but I realized that if I did my job and proved myself it would all settle itself out, and it did.

The security industry is no different. It has been the "good ol' boys" for many years, but it's evolving. Four women from dormakaba and myself have formed a presentation called "Changing the Face and Facing the Change in Security." We share insights on leveraging one's personal and professional network to recruit more talented women; creating a more inclusive workplace; and becoming a DEI champion, mentor, ally, and sponsor for female coworkers.

Last year, SIA WISF partnered with ASIS and had their inaugural Security LeadHER event in Nashville. Three-hundred women flew in from all over the country to network, encourage, uplift and share best practices. There were two attendees who flew all the way from Kenya! The Security LeadHER event addressed the lack of diversity in this industry and the dire need to change the narrative.

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

Rawji: We are heading into a future with artificial intelligence (AI) and it is opening up new possibilities. The way we handle access control will change significantly. Al's ability to understand and use data is transforming how we manage access control.

Al algorithms analyze access patterns and detect anomalies while preventing unauthorized access. This continuous learning will provide a higher level of security than traditional methods used in the past.

SSN: What advice would you give other women thinking about getting into the security industry, or who are just getting started?

Rawji: Jump in and find your spot! This industry is evolving and growing at lightning speed. Get in and be the change you wish to see in this industry. It's not enough to talk about it ... get in here and be disruptive!




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