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We Need More Women in the Security Industry!

You are a woman, a woman who is calculative, a woman who is strategic, a woman who is a quick thinker, a woman who has a voice. Yet, with all of these attributes women are still underrepresented in the Security Industry. The Security Industry has been evolving more rapidly than any other industry to date.  For instance, Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence is the place to be! Despite this, women only make 24% of the Cybersecurity workforce according to the Security Magazine.  This has been an increase in comparison to the past, but we still have a long way to go before it’s a pure representation.  

Security is the providence of protection to a person, organisation, country or building. This normally falls to a government body or occasionally a private company, but in short this has stereotypical fallen to the shoulders of our male counterparts. This article in no way is meant to imply that men are inadequate to provide the maximum security, but a reflection of how the service provided, can be strengthened by diverse representation.

History portrays the ultimate warrior to be a muscular man with an AK-47 and a grenade-launcher strapped onto his shoulder. This vision continues with him as the father and husband having the responsibility to protect his wife and kids as they are too vulnerable to protect themselves. It would be naïve to state that this isn’t true, but this doesn’t apply to just women and children. Every citizen (including men) of every nation is vulnerable to attacks, may they be verbal, physical or cyber.

We as women are tough and have the mentally capacity to bring down a nation. We as women are the engine force behind every successful man. We are very observant; we pay attention to every detail. We are born investigators and we have the ability to use our skill sets to transform the security industry.

The fundamental form of security is Human Security. The office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs defines Human Security as the protection of ‘the vital core of all human lives ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfilment’. In addition, this office continues to explore how this means ‘creating political, social, environmental, economic, military and cultural systems that together give people the building blocks of survival, livelihood and dignity.’ As a woman, I think this emphasises the importance of our voices in the implementation of Security. It should not be left to the views from one perspective of society but a true representation of the society itself. A man cannot implement a security policy that impacts just women, as well as a woman employing a policy aimed at men. We should embrace the differences of people within our society and challenge prevailing perspectives of human (and national) security.  

The security Industry is an umbrella to different departments. The U.S department of Homeland Security breaks down the different types of security departments to date. Here are some listed that needs more female representation:

  • Border Security
  • Citizenship & immigration
  • Cyber Security
  • Economic Security
  • Intelligence & Analysis
  • Preventing Terrorism
  • Science and Technology

There are plenty more on the website, go read the descriptions!

If you are interested in an innovative environment, do one for the team and look into the Security Industry. We still have many challenges, such as the pay gap. However, with more high-profile females in the Industry, we can make an impact and start a chain-reaction. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Sophie Willett

UC London '20

Hey! I am Sophie. I was born and bred in London. I am currently Studying my Postgraduate in MSc Security Studies at University College London (UCL). I graduated with a BA (Hons) in English and American Literature. I am a lover of all things adventurous!
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