Diversity in the Security Field
Diversity in the security field is a topic that has gained little attention over the years. Inclusion in the security field is another course of concern for most concerned individuals and this can make the work a bit difficult.
What is Diversity
Diversity relates to having individuals with different characteristics working together within a group. This characteristic includes but is not limited to gender, personality traits, sexual orientation, race, religion, cultural background and much more.
Most firms are currently implementing diversity in the workplace not because they want to, but because they want their organization to have the image of an inclusive work environment just for image sake not because they actually believe in it. This approach is very wrong. Organizations should imbibe the culture of diversity not because they want to look politically correct but because it is a concept they believe in. It has been proved that a workforce that consists of a diverse community is more productive and also have a higher innovative rate. Until organizations begin to understand this concept, most organizations would still practice ”window dressing diversity inclusion ”Securing an organization is much more difficult if the security team is not diversified. It might be difficult working alongside other employees as there are issues that might be understood from an individual from a relative background.
Barrier of Diversity in the security field
One of the major barriers of diversity in the security field is that security firms are more open to recruiting more from individuals with law enforcement and military background. One thing both sectors have in common is that they are both dominated by male from one homogenous zone. This makes it a bit difficult for individuals with no experience in law enforcement to cope. Security officers always attend to a team of diverse individuals, having a diverse security team would help create some assurance with the individuals being attended to when they can see someone they feel more comfortable with in the team attending to them.
Another barrier to diversity in the security industry is the automation bias. The system has been placed in such a way that most decisions are taken automatically more of using a checklist to recruit. The simple truth is that the automation bias has made individuals believe more on automated decision making systems to their guilt feelings. They ignore their guilt feelings and sense of reasoning for a system they believe would make the appropriate decision. While this has its advantages, it also has its downside as individuals are best judge of characters. Automated systems should be less automated and it's best to have a touch of intuition, empathy, critical thinking, abstract reasoning
Why is Diversity Important to the security Field
Better Talent Pool: A more diverse team is equal to a more diverse team. There is more creativity in diversity . A team that consists of diverse individuals is bound to have diverse opinions and techniques to choose from. With a diverse team, there will be an avalanche of great ideas and opinion to choose from in decision making.
Cultural Sensitivity: Cultural sensitivity is best handled with teams that have diverse members. They know the best way to handle a security incident without being culturally insensitive as they would be more diplomatic in their approach. This creates a better work environment which in turn leads to more productivity. Cultural sensitivity is said to be the best spice to every work environment because the work do not only enjoy the work they do, they also enjoy what they learn from their co-workers. And this might be an everyday learning which is healthy mentally.
Higher Productivity: It has been proven that diversity in the workplace leads to better productivity. Lots of diverse and unique ideas are raised from individuals since they bring in their ideas and backgrounds to the team. This is an immense result that a homogeneous team can hardly have.
Cultural Integration: Cultural integration is also another advantage of having a diverse work culture. Stereotyping is also a common occurrence in some workplace and it is caused by a misconception about a certain group or culture. Certain individuals might harbor certain cultural stereotypes. Working with someone might help eliminate this stereotypes as they get along better.
How to improve diversity in the security field
Recruit and retain diverse staff in the organization: most times, the job of maintain some staff is actually more difficult and the initial recruitment job. In that view, the security field should work towards recruitment people from various places and with diverse idea. Sometimes, the most unique idea may seem strange and somewhat unachievable. So the security field should look that for such ideas and personality.
Do not be bias about any of the staff: always give every staff equal opportunity at all-time. Do no assume what anyone can do and be quick to retrace when you find out that you have been biased in any way. This practice will give every employee a sense of inclusiveness and this will add productivity and create a good diverse working environment.
Have a training: conduction a diversity training will help all the staff members of the organization to have a better understand of diversity, its benefit and why the organization needs a diverse workforce. Also, it helps the organization to check if they are still in line with their staff diversity plan and if not they can make amends.
Reward unique ideas: One of the reasons for diversity in the security field is to create a pool of ideas that the organization can survive from. It is important that whenever a unique idea is been share, it is recognized as such and rewarded. This way, it will encourage others to bring out their uniqueness knowing that it will be welcomed and utilized. Also, it provides the award beneficiary an eagle wing to fly one, knowing that his idea to the organization is important.
By Tyler Burket, Human Resources
Strategic Security Corp.