In Honour of International Women’s Day: Reflections on the ASIS Women in Security Event from Two Women in the Private Security Field
Condor Security proudly celebrates International Women’s Day; borne out of the aspiration for women’s independence and equality, International Women’s Day celebrates and advocates women’s rights and freedoms worldwide.
In November 2015, Condor Security attended the ASIS Toronto Chapter’s annual Women in Security Event and included were female Security & Concierge staff and representatives of Condor, Makeda and Binar. Below are their reflections on the event in honour and in celebration of International Women’s Day 2016!
Becoming a Female Mentor
Makeda J. – Condor Level 3, ASP Instructor, StaySafe IP Instructor
It was my pleasure to attend the November 2015 Annual Women In Security Event hosted by the Toronto Chapter of ASIS International. I was very happy with the change of environment compared to the event earlier in the year. Everyone was seated in a roundtable format where the speakers would switch tables until each table had a chance to meet and converse with all four speakers. They gave useful advice, answered questions, and shared some of their own personal stories and situations.
This event was much more informative but still offered as many opportunities to network with other security professionals as the first event of the year. Even though a large part of the topics discussed were in regards to professional growth, some information touched on personal growth as well.
How can Women advance their career?
Amongst all four speakers, I held on to a statement made by Mr. Luciano Cedrone. When asked what advice he would give a female pursuing a career within the security industry, he mentioned not depending on the approval or motivation of others (society) to make our dreams become a reality. In his words, "you should be your own motivator and push yourself to achieve your goals." To put this in my own words, "stop waiting for a hand and pull yourself up." In my first article reflecting on the previous Women in Security event, I mentioned that society's opinion of women in the security field is partially responsible for the lack of females pushing themselves forward within the industry.
After hearing Mr. Cedrone's statement, it occurred to me that it's more so our error in thinking and ultimately our loss (us women) for thinking we need the acceptance of others to pursue a career within a field that mostly consists of men. If you think about it, the majority of great ideas are only accepted after undergoing much criticism and a lot of hard work on the part of the people behind these ideas. "I had a dream and I easily accomplished all my goals in no time," said no great pioneer ever.
The way I see it is that we (not only females, but people in general) need to stop hoping and waiting or even being scared to take risks because we fear being looked down upon or judged. Who's to say what's normal or not? Why can't female professionals be a norm for any field of work? Why must we always follow old trends because it's uncomfortable to stand out? My answer: because we accept it. We accept whatever society deems normal rather than becoming an individual of great change. In my opinion, our own approval should always come first. It sounds pretty simple yet it took me twenty plus years to realize this. Much thanks to Mr. Cedrone for sparking that awareness.
Finding Professional Female Mentors
Aside from attending the event, learning different aspects of the industry, and meeting people that were once in similar positions to where I am today, I had the privilege of selecting another co-worker to attend the ASIS Women in Security Event, Binar S. My main reason for choosing Binar was the potential I saw in her. When I first met her, it was like looking in a mirror but seeing a past version of myself. She was a very soft spoken person; although smart and having a lot to offer, she needed more experience to gain more skills and self confidence in order to excel. With time, the right support and continuous training, Binar has grown into a strong and professional individual. She has a lot more confidence in herself and she's also encouraging others to grow within Condor’s Mentoring Program.
After attending the event, I spoke with Binar and I could tell she was motivated to push herself even more. I have no doubt that this event did exactly what I expected it to do for her; show her she has a lot more to offer to herself and the people around her.
From left to right: Makeda, ASIS Speaker Bonnie Butlin, Binar
Professional Opportunities for Women
Binar S. – Condor Level 3, Head Concierge
This was my first time going to an ASIS Women in Security event. The second I arrived, I noticed how welcoming and friendly everyone was. I met with a lot of different people who spoke about their experiences in the industry and another woman who works as a security guard.
The Power of Self Confidence
This event inspired and motivated me even more to achieve my goals and it taught me that I can do anything. The mentors talked about ways to achieve the goals that you set for yourself. I myself am a big dreamer, but for me it always has been 'what if' but never 'when.' Going to the women in security event has made me want to turn my dreams into a reality. Maybe one day I will be talking to young women about how to be successful, and that I will be on the other side of the table influencing them, and being able to tell them about my experience as a woman in security.
This event has opened my eyes more to try harder because you never know where your hard work and dedication may lead you. I’ve always told myself that it is impossible to for me to reach a certain goal or position, but this event showed me that you can reach your goals if you set your mind to it, work hard and go that extra mile.
Training and Education for Security Careers
Some advice that was given was that people in the security industry look for two main things. The first one is training and the second is education. You gain the knowledge and experience. Take every training opportunity you can. You will grow as an individual and as a professional.
Makeda and Binar at the November 2015 ASIS Women in Security Event