When you think of a ‘bouncer’ or a security guard, you may think of a large male, but women are ideal for frontline security services, as Joy Darch, security officer at VIP Security Services explains…

Being a good security officer isn’t just about how to have the physical strength to defend someone or something, for the majority bearing in mind we have to “do the job” when it comes to it, it’s more about communication, attention to detail, multi-tasking and empathy.

On a day-to-day basis we work alongside our male colleagues and deal with all incidents on equal terms. Many male security guards have quite a physical presence, which can help ward off threats, but not all of us ladies are built in the same way. We may not be the same size or have the same physical strength, but women on the frontline can be more adept at reacting to situations and dealing with potential problems professionally without the need for physical intervention.

It’s tricky to generalise, but like in life, women are usually better than men at dealing with males in heated situations. We’re good mediators and we’re able to get guys to see another side of the argument and to just ‘quieten down’ take some time out, which in many incidents is enough to quell a situation.It’s also ideal for women to see female security guards, as sometimes they may feel more able to talk or reach out to a woman than a man. For example: if a female is in a nightclub and she fears that her partner has given her cause for concern, it’s much easier for her to walk up to a female security guard and ask for help, than one of my male counterparts.

Women are great at empathising with people and able to show compassion. Security officers who work in large retail outlets are often called upon to find lost children. Whilst searching for a lost child it’s also vital to calm down fraught parents. Here it seems females find it easier to step into someone else’s shoes, understand how they feel and give support at a time of need.

It’s often been said that women are great at attention to detail and multi-tasking, it’s true, which also makes us ideal for surveillance or cyber work. Here we’re strong at analysing a situation, watching hours of filmed data whilst also managing other duties at the same time and working as part of a team.

Women are also great communicators and that’s a key skill for frontline security services. Strong communication is ideal on the ground to ensure all team members know exactly what they’re doing, any change of duties. Communication is also ideal to create great working relationships with clients and their customers. The majority of situations can be diffused quickly and efficiently by excellent interpersonal skills and keeping a flow of communication to large groups in queues is also ideal in keeping everyone safe and secure.

We’re also essential onsite at airports and venues where ‘pat-down’ searches need to be conducted; because there is physical contact these ‘frisk’ searches must be carried out by a searcher of the same sex as the person being searched to comply with legislation.

Most women still face a lot of prejudice when they tell others that they work as a security guard as so many people still stereotype. But the world is changing, and the security industry is a great place for women to display their key strengths and nurture a fulfilling and very worthwhile career.

To discover more, visit www.vipsecurityservices.co.uk

Joy DarchAbout the author

Joy has spent the past five years at VIP Security Services working in various security roles, she is currently a team leader. Joys spends the majority of her time front-of-house in licensed properties and acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ at large events. Joy is also a carer to her retired husband, mother and grandmother, with little time for anything else!