Black Country-based GMS has partnered with education and employment partners to tackle an industry-wide shortage of trained female staff through Women In Security, an awareness drive about the opportunities for female staff to follow careers in security gatehouse roles, public facing events and technology-based duties including CCTV monitoring along with potential management development.
Based in Tividale, Oldbury, GMS are encouraging more female applicants to step forward as part of International Women’s Day (Tuesday March 8), the global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Launched in 1911, the day also sees calls to action for accelerating women’s equality.
Women in Security is a socially-conscious effort by GMS to encourage more women to take up the diverse career opportunities in the security sector as part of the economic rebuilding from Covid-19. With high-profile public events heading to the West Midlands in 2022, new starters can benefit from opportunities to work in exciting settings while building up their experience.
GMS has promoted Women In Security to West Midlands colleges, universities, local authorities, student unions and employment agencies to display the opportunities available for female colleagues in security. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street endorsed the campaign as part of his jobs plan to get 100,000 people back into good-quality employment within two years. Women In Security was promoted online and on social media in January, with media coverage including a BBC TV appearance.
Since then, more than 30 female candidates have taken up the opportunity to retrain, booking on to GMS courses. GMS hope others will step forward as women account for less than 10% of Security Industry Authority licenced personnel yet GMS believe far more can be done to help them succeed in security roles.
GMS has vacancies in key roles at its sites nationwide, while preparing to staff protection and security services at forthcoming high-profile West Midlands events where female-only work is required, GMS want to play their part in addressing the shortage of trained women in the industry.
GMS HR Director Rachel Freeman said: “GMS is pleased to build on its success to date by promoting our careers opportunities as part of International Women’s Day 2022, which has the theme #BreakTheBias. We know that stereotypes and bias about women working in the security sector makes it difficult for potential female employees to step forward.
“The organisers of IWD say that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field so we would encourage any women looking for new career opportunities to get in touch with us or find out more online as there is a world of opportunity out there for them. The response to date has been superb but we know there are more women out there who can benefit from the diverse roles available in our sector so we will continue to make as many people as possible aware.”
GMS employs 500 staff delivering practical security solutions across the UK for leading brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, CEMEX UK, Neovia, Kerry Foods and Avison Young. Following a successful period of growth with client wins including Dudley College, GMS has landed for the first time on the annual list of the top 45 businesses in the security sector put together by leading industry title Infologue.
Earlier this year, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street welcomed the GMS campaign as part of the region’s recovery from the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Street said: “The teamwork between GMS and partners like Sandwell College is a great example of the work that can be done to help retrain people who are out of work, alongside the wide range of training courses the West Midlands Combined Authority is funding. I would encourage everyone who is looking for a job, or is worried about their future, to see what training opportunities are out there right now.”