March 8 is International Women’s Day, and it also marks a year since the Security Industry Association (SIA) established the Women in Security Forum, a group that supports the involvement of women in the security industry through programs and opportunities for professional development, networking and thought leadership. SIA recognizes that gender diversity in the workplace is good for business and has shown leadership in several meaningful strides toward gender parity in the security industry. Here are some of the Women in Security Forum’s key accomplishments in the past year:
The SIA Progress Award, sponsored by the Women in Security Forum, celebrates individuals who advance opportunities and pave the way to success for women in the security industry. At SIA Honors Night 2018, SIA presented the inaugural Progress Award to Edwina (Eddie) Reynolds, president and CEO of iluminar Inc., for her longtime leadership in initiatives supporting the advancement of women and overall diversity in the security and technology industries.
In spring 2018, SIA partnered with Security Sales & Integration to introduce SECURE Perspectives, a new monthly column supporting the participation of women in the security profession. Each column profiles a successful woman in security, highlighting her background, perspectives on security trends, challenges and opportunities and advice for women in the industry. Read the latest column here.
As part of the Women in Security Forum initiative, SIA featured entirely women-authored content in the fall 2018 issue of SIA Technology Insights, a semi-annual journal featuring original, vendor-neutral articles distilling the most current thinking for applying today’s security technologies.
SIA also participated in a number of events as part of the Women in Security Forum in 2018. On Sept. 20 in New York City, SIA hosted the pilot event of its networking roundtable series, which offers an opportunity for an open discussion about topics important to security industry professionals and allows attendees to discuss experiences and challenges, collaborate and share actionable ideas. The first event featured two Women in Security Forum members – Janet Fenner, chief marketing officer at ISS (Intelligent Security Systems), and Elaine Palome, vice president of human resources at Axis Communications – as keynote speakers and addressed a variety of workforce development topics, like how to successfully onboard new hires and understanding the roles, risks and potential biases of artificial intelligence in hiring.
The Women in Security Forum also hosted a networking happy hour at SIA’s booth at GSX 2018; the happy hour was a huge success, and SIA’s booth was the place to be on the show floor during the event. Finally, SIA closed out the year with a breakfast hosted by the Women in Security Forum at ISC East. The breakfast and networking event featured a panel discussion moderated by Dark Reading’s Sara Peters in which successful female security professionals shared their advice, perspectives and experiences in the industry.
SIA is proud of all that we’ve accomplished in this first year of the Women in Security Forum, and we’re looking forward to expanding on our efforts to support women in the industry in 2019. We hope you’ll join us for the Women in Security Forum Breakfast @ ISC West on Friday, April 12; attendees will enjoy complimentary breakfast and networking and get insights from special guest Juliette Kayyem, a national leader in America’s homeland security efforts. Kayyem, CEO of lifestyle company Zemcar, previously served as President Obama’s assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor.
SIA’s Women in Security Forum is open to anyone at a SIA member company – regardless of their gender – and offers programs, professional opportunities and networking events to celebrate and advance the involvement of women in the security industry.
Want to learn more or get involved? Check out the Women in Security Forum and sign up to join on our website. Questions? Contact SIA’s staff liaison, Kim Landgraf, at email@example.com or 301-804-4703.