The Women in Security Awards have become an annual fixture, with the winners of the 2014 awards named on Thursday 2nd October at an awards dinner following Association of Security Consultants’ 20th annual conference. Whilst the awards undoubtedly recognise and celebrate leading female security professionals it is perhaps telling that a separate award is needed at all for any security professionals. Sadly the security industry still has a noticeably higher percentage of men compared to women and we could debate the reasons for this and solutions to the imbalance for a long time. The ethos at TDSi has always been to employ the best people for the job and I believe that is a hefty contributory factor to the altogether more balanced gender and age mix we have achieved in our team. I’m also very pleased to say that all the signs are that the security industry as a whole is moving away from the traditions of a male-dominated image towards something much more considered and intelligent. Perhaps as the technology has moved away from purely using big metal hardware and brute force, towards an integrated and intelligent hybrid of physical and logical solutions, the old-fashioned stereotypes and imbalance of gender will change too.
It’s no secret that the TDSi team is as diverse as it is talented from work experience recruits and apprentices to professional graduates and highly experienced professionals who have probably seen more of the industry than most. I would love to talk in depth about the whole of the TDSi team but for now I will highlight four key female members who I think illustrate the excellence and diversity of roles across our organisation - Software Project Manager Tina Baker, Key Account Manager LeAnne Hill, Marketing Manager Sarah Phillips and Operations apprentice Hannah Collins.
Tina became a part of the TDSi team in June 2004 having previously been a software engineer for defence and security giant QinetiQ. As Software Project Manager, Tina oversees what has evolved from an important to a vital part of TDSi’s security offering. TDSi develops its software systems in-house and Tina has been at the forefront of this for over 10 years, ensuring that our customers and partners have the best products and support for software that lies at the heart of vital security systems all around the world.
LeAnne originally joined TDSi in 2008 as a customer services/sales advisor and excelled in the role. With our continued growth, LeAnne was promoted to Key Account Manager early last year, supporting our expansion plans. LeAnne now works closely with TDSi’s Distribution channels across the UK to drive sales. Her role is crucial in the relationship we have with our Distribution Partners, who enable our overall success as a business.
Sarah was recruited as our Marketing Co-ordinator back in October 2011 but rapidly progressed to become our Marketing Manager in 2013. As with all professional businesses, marketing is a cornerstone of TDSi’s success and growth Sarah oversees the communication of our core values and products to the market, through trade events and the online and traditional media channels as well as our newly refreshed website. This also means Sarah oversees feedback channels from our customers and partners, which is a vital ingredient in our products and services development mix and helps to guide the direction we take in the future.
As a recruit from the TDSi apprentice programme, Hannah is a key member of our operations team which oversees the busy day-to-day running of TDSi’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset. She is the perfect example of a young female professional who has chosen to train within industry rather than specifically follow a higher education path an alternative career route which I firmly believe is an excellent one for many people. Being an apprentice has given Hannah training and experience which offers her a progressive career path but has also given the TDSi team the benefits of new ideas and a fresh perspective.
Tina, LeAnne, Sarah and Hannah are just four of the many excellent female professionals working in the security industry today. They are also testament to the need for the security sector as a whole to encourage a greater gender balance in recruitment - to really engage with all the best talent for the job. Equally, it would benefit the whole industry to lose the old fashioned and outdated stereotype that sometimes belies the genuinely innovative and forward-looking ethos that I believe companies like TDSi actually embody.