Empowering Women in the Electronic Security Industry

By Nicola Oakie

In the constantly evolving landscape of the security industry, the role of women has often been underrepresented. Yet, women have excelled across a variety of roles, from the strategic decisions made in the C-suite to the innovative campaigns crafted in marketing and sales, and the groundbreaking solutions developed in engineering. Their contribution showcases a significant influence that enriches the industry with diverse perspectives, creativity, and resilience. This positive impact continues to grow and expand, reshaping the industry’s future daily.

Organizations such as the California Alarm Association’s WISE (Women in Security Evolution) and WISF (Women in Security Forum), run by the Security Industry Association (SIA), are at the forefront of championing this evolution. By highlighting the achievements of women throughout the industry, these groups provide the recognition that female professionals deserve while inspiring a new generation to explore career opportunities in security.

As we stand at the crossroads of an evolving market, the imperative to push these efforts forward has never been more apparent. The collective effort to elevate the role of women is not just about achieving equality — it’s about leveraging the full spectrum of talent available to us, ensuring that the industry not only grows but thrives in its richness and diversity.

A Bright Future

WISE is a group dedicated to promoting women in the industry. By focusing on increased visibility, inclusivity, and equality, WISE is paving the way for a more diverse and empowered industry. In collaboration with security solutions and service providers, such as Netwatch, there is a unified commitment to championing diversity initiatives and acknowledging the contributions of female leaders.

WISE’s vision is to create a thought-based community of leaders who are committed to each other’s success. This vision is rooted in the belief that collective support and empowerment can lead to groundbreaking achievements. By connecting women leaders from various facets of the industry, WISE is fostering an environment where innovation thrives and barriers are removed.

This year, WISE has taken significant steps to review and enhance its mission and direction. This includes efforts that incorporate the diverse voices of its members. The commitment to highlight three WISE members monthly in the MIRROR publication is a testament to this effort and the group’s dedication to increasing visibility and celebrating the achievements of its members. WISE also strives to feature insights from its members on topics of inclusivity and niche services in security in a variety of mediums, all part of its mission to share knowledge and experiences that can inspire and educate others within the industry.

I am proud to be part of an organization that values diversity and supports groups like WISE. Netwatch, a provider of proactive video monitoring services, supports the advancement of women in the security sector and recognizes the important role that female leaders play in driving innovation and excellence, Netwatch actively promotes an inclusive culture that values and nurtures all talent. Through initiatives like partnering with WISE, Netwatch is advocating for gender diversity and actively contributing to the creation of a more equitable industry. Today I am the VP of Sales for Netwatch North America.

Opportunities Abound

As the electronic security industry continues to grow, the need for a diverse and inclusive workforce becomes increasingly clear. Organizations like WISE, supported by industry allies like Netwatch, are essential in this journey. By highlighting the achievements of women, advocating for equality, and providing platforms for leadership and development, we are contributing to the advancement of women while shaping the future of the industry.

As someone deeply proud to be part of this industry, I have witnessed remarkable transformations over the course of my career. By working together, we are paving the way towards an inclusive industry that not only attracts but also retains top talent. Looking ahead, the pivotal role of female leaders, coupled with our collective efforts to support and celebrate their contributions, is essential in shaping an industry that is dynamic, resilient, and successful — an industry that people are eager to be a part of. Together, we can achieve our shared goals and create an environment where everyone seeks to thrive.

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