When looking at recent gender statistics in close protection, it is apparent that this industry is still male-dominated. Thus, this article explores why this is so and the potential benefits of engaging a female close protection operative.
To start, let us take the percentage of female security professionals in England and Wales. In 2015, it stood at 9%. After six years (2021), it increased slightly to 10.1%.
We conducted a poll on our Crownox LinkedIn page asking: What do you think are the main challenges faced by female close protection officers?
A total of 57 people participated in the survey with the data as follows:
Interestingly, no females voted for the option ‘Dealing with Physical Threats.’ This shows that males’ perceptions of what might challenge women when or before joining this profession is different from that of females.
The majority of women that participated in the survey chose the options ‘Male-dominated Industry’ and ‘Stereotypes and Social Stigmas.’ These results should be an eye-opener for males in the industry. In fact, they highlight that males need to make females feel more welcome in this profession.
Why Is There Such a Large Gender Gap in Physical Protection?
The male-dominant reputation of the industry can discourage females from even considering this profession. The reason is that their male counterparts might have better job prospects.
Considering the history of the industry, being accustomed to having a majority of male applicants, sometimes even the job requirements for CPOs include the average physical attributes of men, such as height and weight, not taking into account the average measurements of females.
A career in CP can have certain social stigmas tied to it as a ‘strange’ job for females. The reason is that many people outside the industry might have never come across a female working in this field.
Another stigma is the ‘masculinity’ of the job and stigmatizing females in security as ‘masculine’ or ‘lacking femininity.’ These misused labels might discourage women — especially those from traditional societies — from considering this career.
Traveling for work might also be a cause of the gender gap. For example, it might be more traditionally acceptable for male CPOs to leave their families behind to travel for a task. At the same time, it may seem socially “unusual” for a female close protection operative to do so.
However, this became more common when females, who were also mothers, were serving in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War. It was then that normalizing this conception started spreading to other countries.
Why Are Women Needed in Security?
Looking at the bright side, the demand for females in physical protection is increasing. Many of our clients are expressing their preference for a female CPO. Similarly, other clients are explicit about only wanting a female close protection operative for various operations.
The CPO industry is not all about muscle (which women do have). It requires effective communication to de-escalate situations when needed and to keep the client safe and secure at all times. The high testosterone levels in men can naturally cause them to escalate situations. In contrast, women naturally tend to de-escalate situations with problem-solving skills.
One positive aspect of gender differentiation in society is that women CPOs will be less likely to be physically attacked by male threats. Men physically harming women is not socially acceptable and has been instilled into most males regardless of their culture. Thus, there is a lower chance of physical confrontation.
Other Benefits of a Female Close Protection Operative
Women CPOs also have the advantage of entering places with their female clients that men cannot enter or would raise suspicions about if entered, such as:
- Female dressing rooms and restrooms,
- Hotel room of a female principal or a principal’s children.
Female close protection operatives can blend into these environments. Conversely, male CPOs will stick out like a sore thumb.
Additionally, some conservative religions and cultures prevent women from being alone with men outside their families. Hence, a female close protection operative is a necessity in this case — not a preference.
If you are a female interested in becoming a CPO, now is your time to shine. There is an increasing demand for women in this career. If you are looking for a stimulating profession where you can use your skills to ensure people’s safety and even save lives, this could be an excellent career.
Crownox Risk Mitigation Solutions
We provide a full spectrum of security solutions to international organizations, diplomatic delegations, and Fortune 500 companies. Using a combination of unique human resources and modern technology, Crownox is able to effectively monitor and mitigate threats.
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Crownox’s comprehensive risk mitigation solutions vary from security consulting to executive protection, and location assessments. Moreover, Crownox offers corporate investigation services and 24/7 intelligence monitoring.