Book Review

Women in the Security Profession: A Practical Guide for Career Development

Edited by Sandi J. Davies; Reviewed by Jennifer L. Hesterman

womensecurity Women working in male-oriented career fields, such as the security profession, have unique challenges, yet they often don’t have female mentors or know where to turn for advice or support.  This extraordinary book fills that gap and serves a continual reference for all women in the security field, regardless of experience level, position or industry sector.

With over 40 contributors, the book’s major strength is the multitude of perspectives brought to the table by successful women in the security field. Their voices come through while discussing the (short) history of women in security, managing stereotypes and obstacles, certification and education pathways, and how to prepare for and succeed in every type of position from security guard to CEO.  The book is packed full of valuable information and is very well documented, offering over 100 additional sources to the reader.

Ms. Davies did an outstanding job weaving content with narrative, and personal stories bring the material to life. Using a unique and very powerful format, every chapter ends with an industry-specific question and answer as experts discuss how and why they entered the profession, challenges and tools for success, and giving their very best advice. Since job changes are common in the security field, the book is a perfect source for those considering broadening into different realms whether law enforcement, cyber, personal protection or corporate security.  A chapter regarding women transitioning from the military to the private sector is extremely informative. The final section of the book provides an interesting personal reflection from a female private investigator, and 30 invaluable tips from professionals. Readers not only glean a significant amount of practical information, but will feel like they are having a personal conversation with a security industry expert.

Several men contributed to the book, as well, bringing their perspectives as co-workers and supervisors of women. Including their perspectives provides a holistic view of women in the security workplace, and adds to the small body of knowledge about how we can better partner for success.

This book must be on every security professional’s shelf to use as a reference, for mentoring and as a reminder that others have faced the same challenges we do - and prevailed. (Click to Order)

Reviewer: Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is a retired Air Force officer and counterterrorism expert.  She is on the School Safety and Security Council and the Strategic Alliance Committee for the Women in Security Council. Her book “Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack” was the ASIS Book of the Year for 2015.