A female security officer says confidence is key to breaking down age and gender barriers in the security industry.
Elizabeth, 64, who lives in Glasgow and works as a security supervisor for Kingdom Security in an Angus shopping centre, says ‘it’s a shame’ so few women choose to take up a career in the sector because it’s an ‘enjoyable’ job.
According to the last Government data released in 2020, only around one in ten people who are working in the security industry are women; campaigns and initiatives have been attempting to change this.
Elizabeth is one of the rare few who has worked in the industry for so long – her career spans more than 20 years.
She believes the longevity to her success has been down to her confidence. And she is urging other women to ‘have confidence’ in themselves and follow in her footsteps.
“I may look 64, but in my head I’m 30,” she says. “Have confidence in yourself. You can get by on your own. You’ve got to strive. It’s in your own personal being to be who you are. You have it in yourself. You’ll pick it up as you go along. So, be confident and believe in yourself.”
Elizabeth says because of her age and gender, some people she deals with at the shopping centre may see her differently to what they would a man. But that doesn’t affect her. Instead, she sees it as a plus to resolving the situation.
She says: “Because I’m a woman, they’ll think I can get past you. But that’s not going to happen. I’m going to firstly try and resolve the situation by using my experience and training provided and if unable to resolve contact the police to support with the situation.”
Elizabeth says while the job is ‘practical’, she believes the key success is the work you put in.
“I believe that my role is practical,” she says. “We do things on the job. Practice makes perfect. Pieces of paper don’t show you how to perform and excel.
“In my job, I’m people-watching, but at the same time, I’m tidying up or reporting a maintenance issue in the shopping centre. You’re doing a job and you’re watching at the same time. I believe we’re all the same and we’re as capable as each other. You just have to put the work in.”
Keith Young, Security Contract Manager in Scotland and Ireland for Kingdom, says: “Elizabeth has been a fantastic colleague and is very determined and dedicated.
“She always wants to help and has been praised by customers and members of the public for her due diligence and ability to resolve matters.
“She’s a shining example of what you could achieve should you choose a career in the security sector.”