On International Women’s Day 2021, and during Women’s History Month, the Security Industry Association (SIA) Women in Security Forum is marking its third anniversary. SIA’s Women in Security Forum was created in 2018 to support the involvement of women in the security industry. The forum works to engage all security professionals to promote, recruit and cultivate the leadership of women for a more inclusive and diversified industry and offers a variety of programs, professional development opportunities and networking and professional growth events toward these goals.
As we mark this anniversary, here SIA takes a look back at the Women in Security Forum’s growth and key accomplishments since its founding.
In 2018, the SIA Women in Security Forum launched the SIA Progress Award, which celebrates individuals who advance opportunities and pave the way to success for women in the security industry. Recipients are honored for their contributions to advancing women in the security industry, support of women’s professional growth through mentorship and sponsorship, recognitions for supporting women and demonstration of the highest levels of professionalism and integrity in the industry.
The forum is also a sponsor of the annual Women in Biometrics Awards, a globally recognized program co-founded by SIA and SecureIDNews. The Women in Biometrics Awards are dedicated to recognizing innovative women creating a more secure world by guiding the biometrics technology market; winners are recognized each year at SIA GovSummit.
SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship
In 2020, SIA created the Women in Security Forum Scholarship to further opportunities for SIA members, support their professional development and educational goals and help them thrive in the industry. Through this new scholarship – open to SIA members and student members – each awardee has received $6,650 to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, conferences or webinars, SIA program offerings, repayment of student loan debt and/or other academic or education programs.
WISF Speakers Bureau
The SIA Women in Security Forum believes that diverse perspectives are an important part of a thriving security industry. Through the WISF Speakers Bureau, we bring female voices forward to better reflect an evolving industry. This free service helps connect event organizers and media outlets with industry experts who can address a range of topics specific to their needs.
SIA’s Women in Security Forum, in partnership with Security Sales & Integration, developed SECURE Perspectives, a 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 and advice for women in the industry. Additionally, in December 2019, the SIA WISF partnered with Security Systems News on the publication’s 11th annual Women in Security issue, which celebrated 14 women leaders across many facets of the industry.
Networking & Educational Events
The SIA WISF hosts a variety of networking and professional growth events for women in the security industry, including a series of professional development webinars on topics like developing women leaders in the workplace, how an active wellness program can make you a better security professional, communication skills in the workplace and building your personal brand. Additionally, the WISF has partnered with Women in International Security to host virtual meet and greets for women in the industry.
At ISC West 2019, the SIA Women in Security Forum hosted a breakfast event featuring insights from special guest Juliette Kayyem, a national leader in America’s homeland security efforts. In 2020, at ISC West’s virtual event, the forum organized the keynote address Leading From Any Seat: Stories From the Cockpit & Lessons From the Grit Project, featuring insights from Shannon Huffman Polson.
In November 2020, the WISF launched the Can Do Challenge, which called upon friends throughout the security industry and beyond to help overcome America’s unprecedented hunger issue. The Can Do Challenge urged everyone to personally make a difference during the holiday season.
The SIA Women in Security Forum is open to all employees of SIA member companies; learn more about the forum and get involved.