On October 24th, 2019 the ASIS North Texas Chapter held the 5th Annual Women In Security (WIS) Gala at the Tower Club in Dallas, Texas. Needless to say with almost 200 attendees, the event was a runaway success.
(From left to right: Tiffany Shuler - Convergint, Lisa Finley - USPS, Grace Sanders – Allied Universal & WIS Co-Liaison, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall and VIP guest, Yolanda Scott – ASIS NTX Chapter Chair, Consuelo Brandon - ASIS NTX Chapter Secretary & Chapter WIS Liaison, Lilian Marquez - AXIS Communications,
Kelly Shanks - Convergint, Karenline Cruz – Securitas)
The Global WIS Publications Committee (WISPC) had a chance to connect with the planning committee after the event; below is snapshot of how this great success story came to be.
WISPC: Tell us about the inception of the WIS NTX group and how that influenced the creation of the WIS NTX Gala?
WIS-NTX: Several years ago the Chapter recognized the need to create a women in security group that would provide an outlet for women to encourage, inspire, and mentor one another within the security industry. The NTX WIS goal was to elevate, empower, and provide women with resources that offered opportunities for women to succeed and become recognized within the industry. The Gala highlighted the recognition and celebration of women within our industry but more importantly, created a lot of excitement and momentum.
WISPC: What would the chapter committee say are the key factors that hav
e made the Gala the success it is today?
WIS-NTX: The recognition of women within the industry was a key fa
ctor in making the Gala such as success. The committee felt the
need to have women from various backgrounds speak and share their stories. What many women discovered was that regardless of our background history. Whether it was someone titled as a security manager, loss prevention, law enforcement, attorney, or FBI agent faced similar challenges throughout various stages of our careers. This not only inspired other women but helped women to share the same kindred spirits and except one another within this industry.
WISPC: What meaningful advice would you/the chapter committee offer other chapters that are looking to grow their WIS participation?
WIS-NTX: We discovered through discussions that women from various backgrounds did not see themselves within the same industry. Whether it was retail, financial organization, property management among many others believed that our industry was siloed. In fact what we discovered, was that many women working under various titles had some type of security responsibility within their role. Breaking down the barriers and encouraging women to lean on each other for areas of expertise was the biggest challenge faced. As a women in this industry found that the biggest barrier faced was not being in a male dominant industry but the challenges of women being our greatest detriment. Women need to support and lift each other up and not create barriers for one another. We are women working in a predominately male industry, therefore encouraging and mentoring one another has not only had a positive effect, has led to the increase of women becoming engaged and supporting one another.
This was our first year to have quarterly events for WIS and what a success this has been. The events were designed to have women from various backgrounds speak and share their story of success, “she started somewhere” spoke volumes to many who have started from somewhere in their journey. Our mission statement for the 2020 quarterly events will be “pull as you climb” where we will show case other women that have supported, mentored and lifted each other up for their success.
WISPC: As for the future of the WIS NTX, what goals/roadmap are you/the chapter committee pursuing over the next 3-5 years?
WIS-NTX: This was our 5th annual WIS Gala and from when we started through today has been an exciting development and continues to create momentum. Our committee’s goal over the next 5 years is to eventually have an event as large as our LEAN event (over 800 attendees). Over the next 2-3 years our goal is to increase the number of young female professionals entering this industry. This year Convergint sponsored a table for young professionals and the WIS committee encouraged our YP’s to serve as a volunteer during our event, to begin making networking connections with other women within the industry. This actually lines up with our WIS 2020 mission statement “pull as you climb”.