Society diversity

relaunch of the Women’s Security Society | Occupational safety

A rather splendid suite on the 29th floor of Guy’s Hospital in London was the venue for the relaunch of the Women’s Security Society.

The host was Jayne King, Site and Security Services Manager at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital, who introduced Houdah Al-Hakim. She recalled how the Society had been silent for some years; and in 2019 planning took several months for a new board; Ready to go. Then came covid. Everything was put back in place; six months, then 12 and 18. The Thursday, July 21 launch party came after a few social gatherings in the form of “soft launches.”

Who was there? Women of all ages, colors and career stages, from women wearing SIA badges to Security Industry Authority Chief Executive Michelle Russell. This wide variety of women in the sector was also evident in a panel moderated by Anas Wihaib who spoke for an hour and covered a range of industrial and social issues, some relating only to women, others relating to men. The well-received panel was:

– Somera Bahadur, young graduate, who joined the security and management company FGH Security nine months ago as operations administrator and who is now operations coordinator;
– Kelly Raines of security firm Bidvest Noonan, who started out as a security guard and is responsible for site security in London;
– Emma Farrow, auditor for the National Security Inspectorate – she has been with the NSI for five years and in the security sector for 16 years;
– Sabrina Baines, Senior Security EMEA at Walt Disney Company;
– and Hannah Wadey, co-CEO of the London-based Safer Business Network, a grouping of partnerships for the reduction of corporate crime.

About the WSS Council

Little or none of the Women’s Security Society board of directors should need any introduction to Professional Security readers. Jayne King is chair of the Security Commonwealth Coordinating Group and president of the National Association of Healthcare Security; Houdah Al-Hakim is CEO of Quick Click Security; Ruth Ripley is a manager at FGH Security; Sian Doherty, we only featured in the June print edition of the magazine, as managing director of Bristol-based ARC Monitoring, in our article on alarm monitoring; We featured Anas Wihaib in the late 2010s when she was Head of Business Crime Reduction Partnership in Southwark, South London. She is now an Enterprise Security Analyst at Twitter; and Anna-Liisa Tampuu is Co-Chair of the Inclusive Security Special Interest Group, at the Security Institute which we featured launching online during covid 2020. We featured the women-only business travel network that she founded, SheTravel. Anna-Liisa speaks on diversity at the International Security Expo at London Olympia, on the first day of the two-day show, Tuesday September 27.

And then ?

WSS plans to launch its membership program in September; the launch event also heard of plans to offer mentoring, and not just for those in the early years of their careers. In fact, being a mentee as well as a mentor was recommended. There is also talk of a job board (including internships); webinars and quarterly networking events, initially in London.

More information in the September print edition of Professional Security Magazine.

Photo by Mark Rowe; participants at the launch of the WSS, after the panel speech.