What Are You Doing to Recruit More Women to Your Department?
The different outlooks on life — and possible skill sets — that women bring to the table compared to men make them valuable security and law enforcement employees and leaders.
I just came across a blog on CNN by former CIA counterterrorism analyst Susan Hasler on the role she and other women played in the 1990s tracking of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. She talked about what she believed to be the “special genius” women have for tracking terrorists:
“Suppressing one's ego is an important part of being a good counterterrorism analyst. First, you have to be willing to admit up front what you don't know. The amount of data is so large that no one individual can look at all of it. A good analyst acknowledges her blind spots and networks with other analysts to fill them. When it comes to ego suppression, women are just better at it than men. They've had more practice.”
Hasler claims that the women who tracked bin Laden were, unlike many of their male co-workers, willing to track al Qaeda at a time when bin Laden and his cohorts were not considered by the CIA to be a “hot account,” or a good way for CIA analysts to get ahead in their careers.
These comments bring to mind a survey Campus Safety conducted several years ago. Despite the fact that women make up more than 51% of the U.S. population, only 12% of our Salary Survey respondents were women. Additionally, 62% of respondents said that 20% or less of the employees in their departments were female.
Considering the different outlooks on life — and possible skill sets — that women bring to the table compared to men, it just makes sense for campuses to recruit more female police and security officers, chiefs and security directors. Not doing so could leave your campus and community unecessarily vulnerable.
So… what is your department doing to attract and keep women on the payroll?
David Burns serves as the campus Emergency Manager (EM) for Santa Clara University. During his 30+ year public safety career, Dave has served as a paramedic operations manager in Oakland, Calif.; EMS system administrator and regional disaster planner; EM Director for UCLA and local emergency manager in LA County, and consultant for FEMA/Emergency Management Institute (EMI).
Jim Grayson is a senior security consultant. His career spans more than 35 years in law enforcement and security consulting. He worked for UCLA on a workplace violence study involving hospitals, schools and small retail environments and consulted with NIOSH on a retail violence prevention study.
Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East.
Robin has been covering the security and campus public safety industries since 1998 and is a specialist in emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorials on important campus safety issues, including gang prevention, grants and funding, network integration, IP video, emergency notification, emergency management and communications, crime trends and risk management.