We’ve been discussing in a recent blog the number of men and women working in the security industry. If you haven’t read it, then hazard a guess as to the percentage of male and female security professionals.
It turns out to be a lowly 10.1% are females. While it seems that this is a slight improvement from 9% in 2015, it still isn’t much of an increase.
This is really quite a disgrace. Or is it? In this blog, we will take a look at some other professions that have very low representation for either men or women and see if we can work out what is going on. What are the reasons other industries have low female representation, and if the same reasons apply to the security industry? And we’ll also look at what, if anything, should or could be done about these figures.
Factors that we will look at are stereotypes and stigma, the typical desire by that gender to join a profession, and other factors, including genetics.
Other industries with low female representation
In fact, it’s not just security where you’ll find few women. Ever called out a plumber or an electrician, and it’s been a woman? The answer to that question is likely to be a NO. That’s because even though figures have increased in the UK for female tradespeople, including plumbers, electricians and builders, it’s still not much. Only 2% of plumbers in the UK are women, and 5% of all tradespeople combined are women.
So why so low?
Well, these industries can take a lot of strength sometimes rather than mental prowess. And it’s simple nature and genetics that men are stronger than women. Men, it seems, are far keener than women to enter these professions. While men, in particular, tend to earn more as they get older, if you are not a skilled tradesperson and your output is based solely on how many bricks you can shift or windows you can clean, you will find yourself in an unfortunate position as you age. This would be especially true of a woman. So, it’s certainly not a job you could likely keep on doing as you got older.
While there may have been a stigma previously for women becoming tradespeople, it’s fair to say that today’s society is far more inclusive than it’s ever been. As such, we are seeing steady increases. But it’s unlikely to ever approach the 50% mark as the majority of women would rather be inside a warm office than on a building site.
There are very few professions that suffer from this kind of poor representation for men but let’s take a look at nursing.
Industries with low male representation
In nursing, the opposite is happening, and only 9% of nurses are men. That is true of UK figures and the US figures, where nurses are paid more. So that rules out the argument that lower earnings for UK nurses dissuade men from joining the profession.
These figures are a debate that the Royal College of Nursing is currently having and is hoping to recruit more men.
Anyone that sees those figures can at an initial glance conclude it to be terrible that men are so under-represented in the profession. But, there are reasons for it. And once again, it’s never going to hit 50% men and 50% women.
There are several reasons for this, which we’ll see later if they apply to the women’s poor representation in the security industry. They are namely a stigma of male nurses and desire of men to join the profession and do that kind of work.
Well, women might be in agony giving birth, but most would still prefer to salvage a shred of dignity by having a female midwife tug, pull and measure their cervix. Similarly, female patients are none too keen on male nurses performing intimate procedures such as cleaning them if they are unable to go to the bathroom themselves.
However, female patients not necessarily wishing male nurses to be assigned to their personal care has little or nothing to do with men joining the profession.
It seems that there’s a stigma attached to male nurses. Remember Robert De Niro’s character’s intense distaste for Greg’s profession as a male nurse in Meet The Focker’s? While it might be a comedy, but the male nurse stereotype is still highly relevant and alive today.
Nursing does still seem to be women’s domain in society’s view. So it seems like, despite an open debate and desire to recruit male nurses, it is unlikely to cause a major shift in nursing numbers soon. Men seem just not interested in caring for people, while women are far more natural caregivers. That’s not sexism. It’s just nature.
The most important thing we can perhaps draw from these debates is that people, whether male nurses or female plumbers are free to join the profession without scorn, distaste or a lack of understanding by society. Everyone should be free to join any career they choose.
And as long as women can become a plumber or a security guard and men can become nurses without being shunned by family, friends and neighbours, in some way, that’s all that’s important.
Now, in terms of tradespeople, the thing is, if you call out for a plumber to fix your leaky tap, it doesn’t really matter whether a man or a woman fixes it. Just as long as they fix it. The fact that only 2% of plumbers are women is not so important.
But in the security industry, only 10% of professionals being women does cause a problem. Because there simply are not enough of them to meet the demand that UK businesses have.
Just like the police needed to recruit women in the past, the security industry is also suffering from a poor image and a lack of female security.
Why are there so few women in security?
So are women in security suffering from the same issues? Stigma in society or demand by women to join the profession? Or just genetics that means they are no good at the job?
Well, there isn’t any real stigma in society for women to join the security profession. If you become a female security professional, people might think it’s a bit unusual. Which it is. There are only around 14,000 in the whole country – but you are not going to get made fun of or shunned.
Yes, it’s fair to say that sometimes, a man who looks like he can put an end to a fight immediately since he is twice as big as other humans is always going to be a choice for some nightclubs. But as part of the same team, there also need to be women that can search women, enter the ladies, and talk down potential situations. And women happen to be naturals at dealing with conflict.
Security has been considered a rather ‘male profession’ like being a tradesperson and as such doesn’t necessarily appeal to that many women. However, the security industry has also been dogged by misconceptions just like becoming a female police officer had many years ago. Those misconceptions are discussed in more detail in the blog we mentioned previously.
Women tend to think that they are too short and not strong enough to be a security professional. Which also isn’t true.
The truth is that it’s very rare that things become physical working in security. Just like in policing, the job is to assess threats and to de-escalate any potential situations. A woman is unlikely to work a door in a club that has a history of violence. And while a man might consider a male door supervisor’s a challenge rather than a threat in a fight, it’s incredibly rare for a man to intend to hit female security professionals. It’s just a HUGE NO-NO to hit women in our society.
The shorter you are, the less likely you are to be hit. And as we have stressed, it’s very rare that the job would become physical. Women are in demand in this industry, and if you are looking for an exciting profession where you can protect and care for the public and possibly even save lives, then you should definitely consider security.
It only takes 4-6 days to qualify, depending on the licence you go for. Then, as soon as you have your licence in around four weeks, you’ll find you are in high demand. If you have good communication skills, are a quick thinker and are physically fit, this could be a great career for lots of women. You can take advantage of our instalments and summer sale discount if you book today.
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