Gender Equality: Missing in Security and Life Safety


Since people first walked the earth men have assumed ultimate responsibility for the security and life safety of their social circles. When rival muscle mass was the only threat on the “radar”, and muscle mass was the only response option, it’s clear why men assumed this roll. Funny how the concept of “If You See Something Say Something” has also been around for millions of years with no gender bias. Todays threats come from many other places; nature, suppliers, customers, utilities, employees, and technology – way more than they do from rival muscle asserting males, yet men still dominate the field in security and life safety.


Historically, men’s defense actions have been both effective, and no so effective – just look at the many conflicts and Manmade challenges boiling around the world! There is much room, and great need for improvement. I believe what is missing today in the protection industry is the female sensibility. To start with we need to make the workplace more female friendly, where everyone can be seen, heard, and validated. Everyone will benefit from a more equitable work place.


The male “persuasion” with its million years of genetics, is programmed for the old security job, as only a male would think to do that job. But that was then, it’s a new world now. So, we must strive to embrace a new paradigm and evolve in only a few generations (it will take time) from what that tired programming would have us do again and again, and again.


The security and life safety professions are a place where new thought paradigms are desperately needed. Across the nation police departments together with all emergency responders are faced with massive push back from the old “male” ways of doing business. Just look at the recent events in Baltimore. When it comes to designing programs, and engineering security and life safety systems, the heart of the matter is getting people to want to participate. People are at the heart of the matter not technology. Women bring a more people centric approach to business – one where hopefully everyone wins through a collaborative effort. Men tend to design technology centric systems with little regard for the people who will use them.


The security and life safety profession is faced with new demands: clients expect higher levels of protection in the face of a wide array of risks and hazards, old and new. Construction codes and life safety codes have grown in voluminous and challenging ways. Business continuity is the big picture and this requires a much more involved level of client interface and participation. Opportunity abounds and growth is assured, it is time for women to step up to the plate and hit it out of the park as equal team members, and as leaders in their own right.


Felix has 40+ years in the life-safety, electronic, and physical security arenas. Additionally, he specializes in business continuity program development and program management. He serves a full spectrum of clients from residential through Fortune 100 companies, and as an expert witness in these areas. He is on the Board of Directors as Vice-Chair for ASIS International’s Southern Connecticut Chapter, and is an active member of the National Eagle Scout Association. Felix is an ASIS Board Certified CPP, holds an engineering degree in fire protection systems and is a state certified firefighter in Connecticut.


ASIS Internation supports Women in Security.


Copyright © 2015. Felix A. Giannini FPE, CPP. All rights reserved.

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