Women in Security - Webinar Event
Have you ever wondered how to get into the security sector?
- What do we do? What is our job?
- How did we get to where we are?
- What advice would we give to someone considering joining the security sector? (Tips and tricks from security professionals on how to join the sector)
We are bringing together 4 inspiring women from the security sector who will be sharing their different journeys, reflecting on how they got into the sector, and discussing their successes and challenges to date. After the presentations, there is an opportunity to ask questions from our speakers about the security industry and career options in this exciting sector. If you are considering a career in security and would like to know more - we would be delighted to welcome you. Ask questions so you can be better prepared for your first job in the sector post university, college or transitioning from another sector.
The evening is organised by the Minerva Mission and supported by RPS Partnership. This event will take place virtually; login details will be sent a day before.
I have worked in the security sector for over 32 years and I am now the Managing Director of RPS Partnership; a security training and consulting company. I provide risk mitigation for a broad range of organisations; including NGOs, large media corporations, energy multinationals, as well as international charities and has also trained some governments as part of FCO training teams. What I love is that I get to work in seriously interesting places and often work as a security and safety advisor for high-risk environments. My specialism is Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS) of Africa, the Middle East and Latin America as well as working extensively in the Islamic cultures in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
I have had all sorts of opportunities within the security sector and was even lucky enough to work for the BBC as their Head of High-Risk Security as well as in a global role for Control Risks Group as a Crisis Management consultant. I have also been a family liaison officer for the families of kidnap victims, which is something that made a real difference to the relatives of the kidnapped people. I am one of few women to be an experienced media security advisor for high-risk programme making; both in conflict, post conflict and challenging locations; and went into Syria in 2013 with an all-female media crew working as their security and safety advisor/medic in the war torn Idlib province. I hold a Close Protection Licence and have spent some time protecting clients who either have a real threat against them, have wanted the profile of having security with them or who by nature of their wealth have needed some discreet security at certain times; from a wedding in Thailand where Kanye West sang to the South of France on a 200m long gin palace! Looking forward to chatting to you about how I got to where I am.
When I was a seven-year old child, I wanted to be a policeMAN. I grew up and trained to be a gendarmerie *officer* and a certified psychotherapist. After a 2 year life-changing deployment in Somalia, I am currently ensuring physical, personnel and information security in an international organisation.
I am an advocate for gender equality and women's rights, and pursuing a professional doctorate focused on women leaders in the security profession. I am a firm believer in challenging the status quo, and recognise that successful change comes from the inside.
I am mentoring women who want to join the security profession, and this is my way of giving back and being who I needed when I was growing up professionally.
My path in security started some 20+ years ago when I achieved my childhood ambition of becoming a Police Officer with Northamptonshire Police in 1997. I credit my policing background and experience with giving me the tools and confidence to subsequently pursue a variety of roles in security.
After I left policing, I undertook a variety of corporate security management roles in a variety of sectors, retail, construction, logistics and the NHS. I was then encouraged by people I already knew on the UK circuit to gain my CP licence. Being the only woman on the course provided an opportunity for me to train with ex-military personnel and for my fellow male colleagues to learn how to conduct tasks where female principals are involved. For the entire time we were on the course, I was part of the team, and was never made to feel any less than my male counterparts, if anything, we learnt how to utilise each other’s skill sets more effectively, mine as it turned out was report writing and so I was charged with writing the warning orders for the end of course task.
In the seven years since my training, I have conducted many close protection and surveillance assignments in the UK and all over the world for a variety of clients, from foreign royalty to broadcasting clients and have also worked in different parts of Central and West Africa in austere environments. These tasks I have to say, have been my favourite.
Operators are often hired by way of recommendation so it’s always been important to me to be an operator first and a woman a very close second. I see the challenges I faced within the industry itself as similar to that I’ve faced in other workplaces and viewed them very much as opportunities because for me it was about ensuring that I proved myself as an operator, acting with professional integrity and ultimately ensuring the safety of my client and my team.
The working environment of a CPO is so dynamic, can be constantly evolving throughout an hour, day or task and I recognised early on that I would need to ensure that I was mindful of that. It’s taught me personal and mental resilience because so often the work can be demanding but ultimately rewarding.
I have worked in the sector for over 7 years and currently, I work for a global emergency assistance company in London. In 2019 , I founded a female-specific support network and web-based forum for female travellers to share useful information to aid safe travel. After delivering lone female traveller workshops and listening to the stories around the room, I wished to create a community which brings together all the experience of female travellers and offers a safe environment in which to exchange information.
I am also an Associate Member of The Security Institute and a Co-chair of the Inclusive Security Special Interest Group. I am passionate about empowering women and providing support for those keen to enter the security sector and beyond. In March, I was proud to be selected to join UN Women UK delegation to the 65th Commission on the Status of Women in 2021, hosted at UN Headquarters, joining online.
I hold an MA in International Relations and Security, BA in Politics and Governance with a complementary year in Criminology and have completed a course in Political Journalism at Georgetown University with the Fund for American Studies. After my studies, I was a trainee with NATO HQ Counter-Terrorism Section in Emerging Security Challenges Division and also assisted the Gender Adviser Office and the Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security on the projects on the implementation of the UNSCR 1325. After NATO, I remained working in the field of security and freelanced as an external analyst. In London, I also volunteered as a caseworker for Victim Support, specially trained in Sexual Violence, Working with Young Victims, Antisocial Behaviour, Bereavement by Homicide and Major Incident Response.
Looking forward to seeing you there, please do book your places here with eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-women-in-security-our-voices-tickets-152415106687