There was a time when it was practically unheard of for women to work as security guards. Back in the day, the archetype of the security guard was big, burly, and definitely male. But things are changing (if slowly – women still only made up 14% of security guards, according to 2016 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics). You may have seen an increase in female security guards in recent years, posted at the door of your local chemist or patrolling shopping malls and community events. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. These days, women can and do work in any job males do, even as bodyguards. In fact, if you want to work in the security industry, being a woman can be an advantage.
What Is A Security Guard
Before asking anything about female security guards in particular, let’s clarify what a security guard actually is. A security guard protects people or property from harm or theft. Security guards also provide a physical deterrent against unauthorised presences or criminal behaviour – people are less likely to trespass on the grounds of a factory or shoplift from a department store if they see someone in a uniform on site. Another duty of security officers is monitoring surveillance cameras for potential problems and confronting the people involved. If they see trespassers or thieves, they can apprehend them and escort them from the property. This may involve liaising with the police and other emergency services.
Where Do Security Guards Work
Security guards work in an incredible range of different industries and environments, like:
- public buildings
- Office buildings
- Sporting events
- Protecting armoured cars
- Bodyguard duties
A woman can work in any of these roles, and there are several reasons why employers may specifically want to hire female security guards or bodyguards, reasons that we’ll examine shortly. Women have made major progress in the industry in the last few decades as employers have seen the advantages of having women in security roles.
What Are The Responsibilities Of Security Guards
Whether male or female, security guards do various tasks in their day-to-day work, including monitoring premises with surveillance cameras, responding to alarms at homes or businesses, making scheduled or unscheduled patrols, communicating with emergency services when necessary, and writing incident reports. Depending on the particular job, an average day may be pretty uneventful. Still, you’ll need to be prepared for the possibility of danger – for this reason; security guards need to be vigilant at all times and be well-trained for their roles.
What Are The Benefits Of Being A Female Security Guard
Some people in the security industry believe there are special benefits that come with being a female security guard, for example:
- Women are seen as less intimidating or more approachable than men, which can help de-escalate tense situations.
- They can also use communication skills to defuse aggression before a physical confrontation results.
- Clients may prefer to hire a woman in a security position when it’s important to be less conspicuous. For example, a female bodyguard would be a more discreet option to accompany a female celebrity doing everyday activities. In this situation, a large male security guard could draw unwanted attention, making his very size and strength a disadvantage.
- Since women are perceived as friendlier, a female bodyguard might be less intimidating to the children she’s charged with protecting.
- In cultures where it’s unacceptable to have an unrelated man walking in public with a woman, a uardfemale bodyguard may be the only acceptable option for a female client.
What are some disadvantages of being a female security guard?
The flip side of being seen as more approachable than a man is that you might be seen as less authoritative and may get less respect. You could also be subjected to sexual harassment or intimidation. As a woman, you’re also statistically likely to be smaller than the average man. This may sound forbidding, but many women successfully work as security guards, and the right training should help you prepare for any situation.
Is being a security guard too dangerous for women?
Being a security guard certainly can be dangerous. You may have to face aggressive or drunk people, and you may have to confront people and escort them from the premises you’re charged with guarding. But your training will prepare you for these kinds of situations. It can also be a very fulfilling job – and you can be proud knowing you’re relied upon to keep property and people safe.
How do you become a female security guard?
As we’ve seen, it should be at least as easy for a woman to get work as a security guard as it is for a man. But of course, whether you’re male or female, you have to have the right training to be considered for a role in security – and of course, the training is the same for both. At a minimum, most Australian employers looking for people to work as security guards prefer applicants to be trained with Certificate II in Security Operations from a registered training organisation and first aid training, which can come with your Certificate II. In most states and territories, you must also have a security licence, which needs to be regularly renewed.
Taking it further: what other security training can you get?
Security guards can also go beyond Certificate II in Security Operations and apply for more specialised qualifications and licences, like conflict resolution, criminal justice, event management and handling dogs. In fact, there are a surprising number of security courses out there. Getting weapon licences can also make you more employable, as some jobs in the security industry require you to carry a handgun, like armed vehicle operators transporting cash and other valuables.
What else are employers looking for in a security guard?
There are also prerequisites for security guards relating to general character – security guards are people entrusted with keeping others safe, so they must be safe people to be around. Because of this, security industry employers will also usually demand that you have a background check, like a National Police Check. Of course, security guards also have to be over the age of 18.
How do you get a job as a security guard?
As for applying for a job, it’s much the same for security guards as for most other positions. You’ll go through an application process which will involve submitting a resume and going through an interview. Because security guards work in a diverse range of environments, any new job you get in the security industry will generally give you some on-the-job training.
What are the job prospects for female security guards?
Thanks to the wide variety of areas security guards work in, there are always plenty of jobs in the industry. Not only can women be employed in any of these general security guard roles, but in many situations, there is a requirement that some female security officers be available. In areas like airports or any other situation where security guards are called on to screen people, it’s mandatory to have female security guards present to do pat-down searches or strip searches. Security employers may also need female officers to work in areas designated as women-only spaces, like women’s restrooms or areas for breastfeeding mothers. So not only will being a woman not hold you back in the security industry, but in some ways, it can help your career.
If you’re a woman interested in becoming a security guard, there’s no need to let preconceptions about what a security guard looks like stop you. Employers understand better than ever the importance of having female security officers, so being a woman in the security industry is more likely to help than hinder you. And with proper training, you can easily overcome any disadvantages.