Is the woman that just exited the restaurant with a well-known business executive — a personal friend, the children’s nanny, or an administrative assistant?
You might be surprised to learn that many females in the company of businessmen and VIPs are EPAs.
Yes, the security industry is overwhelmingly a male-dominated profession. Nonetheless, female executive protection officers have found themselves in high demand in recent years.
Here are four reasons why clients sometimes request female close protection professionals.
1. Female bodyguards attract less attention.
Although female bodyguards often cannot match their male counterparts’ physical size, that’s not always necessary to get the job done. Ensuring an individual and their family’s safety requires the ability to evaluate and mitigate risk quickly.
And while a male bodyguard of above-average height and a muscular physique possesses the physical ability to ward off an attacker, in certain circumstances, their presence attracts attention, making it exponentially more difficult to enforce a protective cordon.
2. Female executive protection officers approach the demands of the profession differently.
Where a male can rely on physical strength and size to intimidate a would-be attacker, such an approach invites confrontation with the potential to embarrass or injure a protectee. In fact, an attacker may decide to employ violence first in order to overcome a male’s physical size and strength.
On the other hand, female agents don’t present an immediate physical threat and may convince attackers not to use the same level of violence as they would when faced with a male bodyguard. Consequently, the lack of violence — at least initially — provides a female agent with the time she needs to defuse a volatile situation.
3. Religious and cultural preferences call for female versus male close protection.
Certain cultures and religions prefer that females do not spend time with males from outside of their family. With that in mind, some clients prefer to replace a male close protection agent with a female. Children may react better to a female agent as well.
Male agents, especially those with their own children, often establish strong connections with the children under their care. However, that relationship may take time to form. Alternatively, the children may find themselves drawn to a female agent, especially if they’re already under the care of a nanny.
4. Female agents change a protective team’s dynamics.
The group dynamic changes when a protective detail adds a female agent to the roster. A male-dominated team tends to foster a more aggressive culture. That approach fits many situations. Nevertheless, it also increases the potential for an overly forceful response to a relatively routine problem.
While muscles and brute strength solve many problems, protecting executives and VIPs calls for diplomacy and tact in significant degrees.
Female agents do not fit the stereotypical bodyguard mold. Yet, they possess many of the other skills of their male colleagues. In addition to applying many of the tools and tactics used by male close protection professionals, females stay hidden in plain sight and remain just as effective in their ability to protect those under their care.
Female executive protection officers don’t stand out to the same degree as males. Therefore, an attacker may not notice them until they find themselves facing a highly trained woman agent, determined to utilize all of her training and experience to protect those in her charge.
FirstCall CSS, formerly Steele Foundation International, is a U.S.-based (San Francisco) global business advisory and risk management firm with more than 28 years of experience dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment across the world.
We work closely with clients every day to anticipate and overcome business challenges in areas such as:
- Business intelligence,
- Corporate security,
- Executive protection,
- Physical risk,
- Incident management, and
- Emergency response.
Our strong footprint in Mexico since 18 years ago, with a state-of-the-art GSOC based in Mexico City, makes FirstCall a leader in Latin America, a region with unique challenges on many fronts.