Do Women Find Physical Security Less Interesting Than Other, Better Paying Professions?

Care to list some examples of women who are in high positions of leadership on the integration side? Because I can only think of maybe 1 or 2 and I like to think I know a lot of people in this business.

At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, is it possible that a reason there are less women in the industry is because less women find physical security as interesting as other, better paying professions?

Do you know many women who are eager to get to into the Physical Security business, but back off because they feel they will be discriminated against?

If more men are drawn to the field than women by their own choice, should we do whatever we can to generate more interest from them? To what end? Until the workforce is split 50/50, in every profession?

I don't doubt there are women who have had a harder time than their male counterparts in the business due to only their gender. And anytime that someone less qualified gets more pay or promoted over someone more qualified, the industry takes a step backwards.

So we need to do everything in our power to fairly reward the talents and contributions of all those in the industry.

But, I think that automatically assuming there is gender discrimination because of a lack of females in the industry at large, may overlook that there may a lack of interest in the field to begin with. I know that is probably not the right thing to say, but it's a possibility I find hard to dismiss.

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Terrible: Security Companies Hire Execs Outside Of The Industry


On the integration side, I think there is a very clear reason why less woman are drawn into physical security.

Security integration has historically been a light construction field. Especially at the entry level, it does not pay well, does not demand much education, and requires a fair amount of physical labor. This does not appeal well to women generally.

I think that's part of it but certainly not all. Because it's so heavily male, (some) companies can become more like boy's clubs which makes it even less attractive to most women.

"Security integration has historically been a light construction field. Especially at the entry level, it does not pay well, does not demand much education, and requires a fair amount of physical labor. This does not appeal well to women generally."

These conditions do not appeal well to anyone.

I challenge the notion that people 'get into the physical security field' as a targeted path to begin with. Who amongst us actually sat in their Guidance Counselor's office back in high school and discussed their desire to spend their lives installing access control and cameras systems?

I would maintain that, for the majority, 'physical security' is one of those industries that we fall into mostly by chance.

"I would maintain that, for the majority, 'physical security' is one of those industries that we fall into mostly by chance."

For sure, our stats show that most fall into it by chance.

"These conditions do not appeal well to anyone."

But the appeal / acceptability is even worse for women, no?

Look at this list of industries with the fewest female workers:

The clear theme is that these are physically demanding jobs, something that the average female is at disadvantage compared to the average man (not to mention the health risks that many of these professions pose making it more unattractive to both better-educated men and women).

Security technician works falls more on that side of the physical / intellectual curve and therefore would be more unattractive to women than men, yes/no?

Agreed. No different than any other physically demanding, light construction type employment.

I found that list very interesting, so for comparison I googled for jobs that were majority staffed by females. I found the list below:

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pink-collar-jobs-dominated-by-women-2015-2

From this article: "Behavioral economist, Teresa Ghilarducci, told the New York Times that artificial barriers, such as the stigma around 'women's work,' make it more difficult for companies to find the best matches when hiring."

I would say that the stigma around 'men's work' also make it more difficult for companies to find the best matches when hiring. :)

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

Is that disclaimer a requirement to post as a Hikvision employee?

I'm one of those politically incorrect weirdoes who believe that there are fewer women in STEM fields because they're naturally less interested.

I am, I guess, un-American. Because I don’t believe just anybody can be anything they want to be if they just “try hard enough” and make a real good go of it. In people, certain personalities and capabilities emerge and those personalities and capabilities tend to be clustered within certain populations. They can be cultured somewhat, but are also very natural. And while outliers will exist of all kinds, the majorities will need to find their callings.

Yes, the male dominated field, by definition, presents barriers to women. Once certain cultural norms are established they become more difficult to penetrate. Those actual barriers should be removed to allow those women who would like access to the field to have access. But removing those barriers will not result in 50% women in a particular STEM field. Thus I don't buy into the arguments that present a very low participation rate among women in a particular field, and then imply that that low rate is evidence that men are presenting barriers to participation. Rather we're going to have to understand the actual barriers in order to remove them.

I’m for diversity hiring initiatives. Trust me, I’ve been desperate for good, qualified candidates, in every position I’ve hired for. I want to let women know I want to give them a fair consideration, and will provide a comfortable, accepting work environment. I need talent, be it male or female.

I have seen a lot of resumes and done a lot of interviews in my day. I've turned down many many more men than women. But I've also turned away most of the women. That is, I turn away more applicants than I receive--both men and women. The main thing I look for is passion and interest in technology and that is rare among the entire population. I know the resume of a guy (or gal) who’s gone through some job training just so they can check off “java” on their resume vs a person who just couldn’t help but play with computers from an early age. Not all males think technology is fun/cool/interesting, and even fewer women do.

I have worked with (and in fact personally hired) some truly great women in technology so I know better than to imply that all women are not capable or interested. However, the percentages of those passionate enough about STEM to make it a career are way lower than those who feel women should be 50% of the work force in a particular field would like to believe.

"there are fewer women in STEM fields because they're naturally less interested"

Is security integration a STEM field? Given that you mention Java, you likely are referring to the software development side of this industry, which is a fraction of the total employment of physical security.

"But removing those barriers will not result in 50% women in a particular STEM field."

Maybe that is true, maybe it is not, but women in STEM fields is somewhere in the 15% - 20% range. Surely, it can become much higher than that, especially since girls are increasingly crushing boys in school and cultural norms are changing that hindered women in the workforce.

On the lighter side..we need to buy the younger girls better shirts like this one...

Engineer Shirt

I just ordered a shirt for my daughter

You say it's on the lighter side, but of course that shirt is right at the center of the whole argument.

To wit, are we really doing anyone any favors to specifically encourage them to pursue a career in something that they are not drawn to, just because so few are drawn to it?

Reading the sticky "How I got Jumped Into the Security Business" discussion, I would say half or more would not recommend it to a friend, so why push it on a a whole segment of the population?

Btw, I will also order two shirts, not because I am a hypocrite, but because I'm selfish. :)

Why not just let them move toward their natural leanings, whether that be engineering or ballerina? I have four daughters. 17, 15, 13, and 10. We've been talking about college with them for years, and the oldest two have come to a decision - they want to go to school for their MRS degrees - as in Mis'ese. They want to go to college, find a great guy, get married, and have large families. My oldest is shooting for 12 children, my second for 8. See, they don't want to jack around with cameras or code, they want to change the world, and they understand that change happens over many generations.

I digress....

Hal, do the female role models in your daughters' lives also have families? Have your daughters spent time around women who were more focused on careers than on families? Were they exposed to any women who had careers in STEM?

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

John... How many IPVM members are female?

How would I know that? We do not require people to declare their gender when joining.

Undoubtedly, like the industry itself, the percentage of woman is low.

I wouldn't see anything wrong if you did ask members their gender, just not as a requirement to subscribe. But would make for good statistics.

How would I know that?

Would it be politically incorrect to even suggest a poll?

Were you ever asked? ;) edit: timing is everything...

I would guess less than 1% of IPVM members are women. Based on the discussion board maybe even less.

I think there is a bit of a negative feedback loop in regards to women in fields like security.

Generally speaking, the majority of the tasks and ideas associated with "Security Industry" (system design, installation, service, etc.) are things that tend to be more male-associated than female-associated.

If we were to assume a somewhat natural distribution of personalities/genders in security you might see a "best case" split where it's 80% male and 20% female (or a similar majority-male distribution).

The majority-male distribution causes the overall "personality" of the industry to skew heavily male (eg: booth babes). This causes some number of the 20% of females who might otherwise pursue a career in security to look elsewhere because they don't want to get into such a testosterone-laden field.

I think the male-ness of the security industry creates a barrier of sorts to women in the industry, but even if every single male in the industry was a perfect gentleman and did everything they could to make it welcoming for female employees we'd still never see even a 60/40 ratio of males/females in the industry because it's just not the sort of thing that the "average" female would have much reason to pursue.

The above is also affected by the existence of jobs like "wedding planner", where the task is something that tends to be more of a "female personality" type, and tends to have negative connotations for a male. A female considering a career path is not just deciding "is the security industry appropriate for me", but is also deciding "is the security industry the most lucrative option for me". IMO females who may be very well suited to a number of jobs in the security industry can probably do better elsewhere and so are drawn to other options for those reasons as well.

Undisclosed 1, it’s entirely possible that women are less interested in physical security than men are, or in less interested in any tech-based industry, for that matter. But that is an effect and not a cause.

From a very young age, girls are steered away from interest in math and science, while boys are encouraged in these same areas. This gender bias can start with parents; then teachers and toymakers contribute to this trend, putting male students and female students into separate, gender-based boxes. This starts at birth and goes all the way through college, where any women who have steadfastly clung to their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) then have to deal with sexist bias from their college professors. These issues have a lot less to do with what men and women are naturally interested in and more with what our society tells them they are supposed to be interested in. If a woman has been picking up subliminal and not-so-subliminal cues her whole life that tell her she isn’t suited for a career in STEM, it’s not very likely that she will wind up in a STEM-based field like physical security.

Earlier this year I had the privilege of working with a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to providing STEM learning opportunities for middle school students in low-income communities. A team of volunteers from my company taught a class on engineering design. At the start of the semester, there were 15 boys in the class and 10 girls. At first the girls were reserved and didn’t participate as much in classroom discussion. Luckily the lesson plan included a lot of hands-on activities, so all the kids had the chance to work together and build things. The girls were encouraged as much as the boys were. By the end of the ten-week class, the girls were outshining the boys. They were engaged and energized because they had been provided a safe environment, free of judgment, to explore new interests. I can’t think of a more powerful example of female desire and capacity to embrace technology than that.

When you ask, Undisclosed 1, if I know of women who are eager to get into physical security but “back off because they feel they will be discriminated against,” I have to assert that they have backed off long before they are faced with making a career choice.

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

Anna, thank you for your well considered post.

I certainly agree with you, as well as others, in recognizing the complex feedback at work here. Catch-22. I have hired and managed over 100 women for programming/admin positions over a span of 20 years. I probably hired double or triple that number of men. Mainly because that is the breakdown of what I got in qualified resumes.

I have seen soft discrimination towards women at many technical shops. The kind that never gets detected, where you just don't get hired and don't ever really find out why.

Though to be precise, this discrimination was usually towards mothers specifically, sometimes extending to newly married women. Bosses like being the boss, and the often unpredictable, and nature of child-rearing diminishes this power. Fortunately, I was never really in the position that I saw others in, mainly because 90% of my hires were kids right out of high school, or college at the latest. More like MLB than the NBA. Just to note women bosses were no more tolerant than men here.

This starts at birth and goes all the way through college...

Would you consider the possibility that it could even start before that? Or, is that irrelevant even if true?

If a woman has been picking up subliminal and not-so-subliminal cues her whole life that tell her she isn’t suited for a career in STEM, it’s not very likely that she will wind up in a STEM-based field like physical security.

Ok. IMHO, a lot of physical security is maybe only 50% STEM. A lot of it is just plain old hard labor. And it's those type of jobs that I imagine women shunning.

I'm sure the percentage of women is that hang off the back of a garbage truck for a living is small, but even so, does it need to be equalized with that of men?

Even if you omit STEM from the equation, the idea that women shun "plain old hard labor" is simply not true. It's based on a stereotype that women are delicate creatures who don't like to sweat or get their hands dirty. Any woman who works as an emergency room nurse, an elementary school teacher, a waitress, or a housekeeper in a hotel would laugh that that idea. Not to mention any woman who has ever raised a child or who has ever handled a higher percentage of household work than her spouse. Not to mention the US Women's Soccer Team. But I digress.

Again, when societal messages tell us that certain genders are capable of certain activities and incapable of others, we build a self-fulfilling prophecy where people avoid the career paths they are told are unsuitable for them. Why aren't there more male elementary school teachers? Is it because men are genuinely uninterested or incapable of teaching children? Of course not -- that would be an insult to every father here who has lovingly raised a child. Rather, it's because that boys are told that teaching grade school is a woman's job -- and they will likely not have any male grade school teachers as role models to counter this argument. The same goes for a woman who might be considering a career as a systems integrator.

Let's say that a woman rises above societal expectations and gender stereotypes and gets a job in an industry that involves plain old hard labor. There are still more obstacles in her path. If she is a mother, her career opportunities decrease unfairly. She is likely to encounter gender bias when being considered for a promotion. She is likely to face sexism and sexual harassment on the job. You may have seen this recent news item about female laborers: Con Edison is paying $3.5 million dollars to 300 female field workers as a result of a gender discrimination lawsuit. I'll quote directly from the press release:

"The impacted women worked with men in the field in manholes, power stations and other positions involving physically strenuous activities and maintaining the public's access to electricity. While working in such traditionally male jobs, the women alleged that they were:

  • denied, delayed, and given subpar on-the-job training as compared to their male peers;
  • assigned menial, 'make-work' tasks and isolated by male co-workers in group work settings;
  • refused or stonewalled when seeking admission to classes necessary for promotions;
  • not provided tools or safety gear in situations where male co-workers were supplied both;
  • denied adequate sanitary and private restroom, shower, and changing facilities;
  • subjected to disparate and excessive discipline as compared to male co-workers who engaged in comparable conduct;
  • given less positive performance evaluations than their male counterparts for doing comparable work; and
  • denied overtime assignments despite eligibility under collective bargaining agreements."

Need I say more?

I am fortunate to work with a very diverse team of people and, as someone with a desk job, have not been subjected to the same kinds of challenges my female colleagues in the field have faced. I hope that as a whole, the security industry begins to embrace the idea that diverse workplaces allow for a greater range of experience, creativity, problem-solving skills, and opinions -- things that are beneficial to the success of any business or any industry.

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

I disagree with the characterization of 'shunning' 'plain old hard labor'.

However, the more a job requires brute physical strength (e.g., repeatedly lifting 100-pound boxes), the greater the advantage an average man will have, due to biological patterns.

That you cite housekeepers as an example proves that you are looking more at the dirtiness of the job than the max physical lifting it requires.

Even in a perfect non-biased world, you take an average 25-year-old man and an average 25-year-old woman and have them pull cable, mount cameras on rooftops, rack servers, etc. and the man is going to have a significant advantage, just purely based on lifting differential.

Surely, there are other factors beyond that (society tends to look down on women who work on forklifts, girls tend not to aspire to pulling cable in drop ceiling tiles, etc.) but even saying that both men and women like to get their hands dirty the same, there are biological differences that favor men to certain jobs.

The 'shunning' thing came out wrong, this is what I said:

IMHO, a lot of physical security is maybe only 50% STEM. A lot of it is just plain old hard labor. And it's those type of jobs that I imagine women shunning

What I was trying to say was that the non-STEM part of physical security is physical labor, often strenuous for either sex. Like climbing a ladder with 1000 ft. of RG59 Siamese with one arm, and holding the ladder with the other.

Of course there are plenty of women that could manage that on day 1, but IMHO, there are even more men who could. And so you naturally can end up with an imbalance.

And yes, that imbalance can and usually does lead to sexism, which may further limit even fully qualified females from entering the industry.

So I don't deny the problem, I'm just not sure the answer is to say that discrimination alone is the cause of the gap here. Rather discrimination is the intensifying effect of the gap which exists because of real differences.

A relative of mine as long as I remember wanted to be a flight attendant, known then as a 'stewardess'. Problem was she was quite large, probably 6ft and > 250 lbs. Eventually after some effort, she was hired. She the work was hard for her, and the employees were hard on her too, and she has second thoughts all the time.

Hey, but it's what she wants to do, and she can do it, so great. On the other hand, is it necessary to encourage other large women who are not inclined one way or another?

Okay, now you guys are just making me laugh. We agree that women are interested in technology. We agree that women are willing to perform labor-intensive jobs. The latest hypothesis as to why there are fewer women than men in the security industry is that forklifts are not culturally acceptable.

This is fantastic news, actually! All we have to do to achieve gender parity is to make sure that forklifts, cherry pickers, and other machinery designed to help human beings lift heavy things are accepted in the workplace. Once this is accomplished, women will be able to succeed in security at an unprecedented rate.

Jokes aside, I invite you to take a step back for a moment and consider the security industry as a whole. There are thousands of Americans who make a living in this industry, working for manufacturers, vendors, dealers, distributors, integrators, etc. Not to mention at the end-user level: CSOs, security directors, etc. Would you agree that only a small fraction of these jobs require having to lift heavy things? I'm guessing the answer is yes. So how do we explain the fact that there are very few women in the roles that do not require lifting heavy things?

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

Not to mention at the end-user level: CSOs, security directors, etc. Would you agree that only a small fraction of these jobs require having to lift heavy things?

A small fraction of job titles, perhaps. Not as small of actual jobs. Let's not forget this is a pyramid, for each CSO in the biz, how many installers exist?

Secondly, it's not enough to ask whether the CSO has to lift anything heavy, rather one needs to ask him whether he EVER had a job in this industry where he had to lift something heavy. Due to the insular nature of the industry, it would be unusual if the CSO didn't have to pay dues performing other, more physically demanding jobs earlier in their career.

These refinements to your fraction calculation are valid, no?

As for what remains, I agree it is as you say, xenophobic discrimination and lifelong conditioning of attitudes of what is acceptable work for women.

Anyway, if there isn't any real basis for the disparity, why don't men dominate every high paying occupation?

"We agree that women are willing to perform labor-intensive jobs."

This is distorted. Whether woman are 'willing' to perform them, men are better at jobs that are more labor-intensive. For example, why is there a "US Women's Soccer Team"? Why not just a co-ed US national soccer team? The reason is men would take all or nearly all the spots even if the women worked just as hard, were just as smart, etc. The physical difference is the difference.

"Would you agree that only a small fraction of these jobs require having to lift heavy things? I'm guessing the answer is yes."

Disagree. As U1 mentions, most jobs are entry level, in this industry those jobs favor those with more physical strength (techs, guards, etc.). Compounding this, if you are going to manage those people, it is advantageous to have been one of them so you know the job and its issues well.

Again, there is definitely discrimination and bias across the board, but women have a greater competitive advantage in domains where physical strength is less relevant, e.g., software development, marketing, medicine, writing, design, etc.

[M]ost jobs are entry level, [and] in this industry [these] jobs favor those with more physical strength (techs, guards, etc.).

However, let's not forget the other route of entry to this industry -- arguably a more successful one -- that does not rely upon physical labor: sales. If it were all about the labor, we would see much closer to a 50/50 mix of gender in security sales.

Whether woman are 'willing' to perform them, men are better at jobs that are more labor-intensive.

On average, yes. However, this alone cannot explain the huge disparity between men and women in this industry. The most limiting factor for applicants to entry-level security technician jobs is not an inability to do the physical labor, but rather the lack of tolerance for what is usually a crappy and low paying job. Girls don't become security installation technicians because they are smart enough to know they can usually do better elsewhere.

"The most limiting factor for applicants to entry-level security technician jobs is not an inability to do the physical labor, but rather the lack of tolerance for what is usually a crappy and low paying job. Girls don't become security installation technicians because they are smart enough to know they can usually do better elsewhere."

So boys are too dumb to do better elsewhere, or they have a higher tolerance for crappy and low paying jobs?

More the latter than the former.

My theory breaks down when applied to the IT industry as a whole. It is also male-dominated, yet hasn't the same physical rigors of physical security, and it is well-paying. So I guess I haven't a clue after all.

Okay, now you guys are just making me laugh.

Curious, do I come off like a guy, or was that just a figure of speech?

Anna

What was the STEM organization?

After reading all the replies here, a thought has come to mind.

Water is wet.

Grass is green.

Women and men are different from each other.

There's my non-Pc, free-form haiku.

We should move on to something less controversial after this topic, like illegal immigration, gun control, or abortion.

I see more and more women doing these types of low-voltage jobs. I personally think that the more women that are seen in this particular field will open the eyes of other women's interest to it. Right now, I think it's a job that women may not consider because it's been a male dominated type job.

I am not sure my role as a Senior Systems Engineer in my company qualifies as a high-ranking position, but I believe my reputation in the physical security industry is respected, admired, and quite frankly envied. I love what I do, couldn't think of doing anything else. I can be an army of one - sell, survey, design, install, configure, train, document, and support everything from the data center, cable plant, networking, all the way to the cameras, doors, and LPRs. I know I am not the norm, I've never run into another woman who does what I do, and have only come across a few in sales. My backpack is stuffed with cables, adapters, a laptop and a tablet; my trunk is loaded with tools. I never let my gender be a factor in any aspect of my career - it never stopped me and I never used it to exploit a situation.

To answer the questions raised in the original question: (a) interest: since Physical Security is not a skill or discipline unto itself, but rather a conglomeration of all things IT, many women (and men for that matter) are not exposed to it early enough in their college years and initial professional years. I would guess many get into it as a result of someone they know or as a by-product of other work at their place of employment - IT areas already male-dominated; (b) compensation: I believe I am compesated well, probably deserve more. Sales offers greater opportunities and commissions and maybe those factors are more attractive to women as they foster competition. Just speculating, don't know - never asked any.

Just my 2 cents ...

My backpack is stuffed with cables, adapters, a laptop and a tablet; my trunk is loaded with tools.

That moment when the TSA agent is finally done unpacking your carry on and asks, "What the hell do you do for a living?" :)

I've been stopped a few times with my carry-on tools. I also carry a tape measure in case they give me any grief. All tools are within the acceptable lengths.

(I know what you're all thinking - make the jokes, I can take it).

I had a way cool BNC wrench confiscated because the TSA agent counted the length of the metal shank inside the plastic handle.

That is their rightful call as a trained agent of the TrunkSlammerAuthority.

As a woman in the Physical Security industry, I am always looking for ways to repurpose the parts I encounter every day. Here you can see how I've turned a damaged PTZ dome into a fashion accessory - a hard hat. Perfect size for my big head.

PTZ HAT

I'm female (an engineer by degree) and love that I can be anon here to say what I really think.

Absolutely, there are fewer women are in this industry. You can see it at tradeshows and events.

First, this is not a STEM industry. That doesn't mean their are not experts, or smart people, of course their are. But you don't need an engineering or science degree to be a player.

My experience:

- It's lower paying than other tech industries. The cost per sale is simply too low to justify the higher salaries. And again, since you don't need an engineering degree, the salaries are lower.

-I've seen more gender discrimination. And I've been in STEM industries and worked with primarily male dominated firms. This is different, or maybe it's the geographic region of the companies I work with though. (of course not everyone is that way, but way more than I'm used to)

Absolutely, there are fewer women are in this industry.

What's your theory on why that is?

I think that women who enter this industry *on average* are made to feel like second class citizens. I have never seen this level of gender discrimination except in movies. It surprised me greatly.

So, lower pay than other more techie fields, and worse treatment are my best guess.

Of course there are wonderful exceptions - including John Honovich, who has been vocal on the proper treatment of women (much appreciated, John).

#7 - sorry you have had those negative experiences. I cannot say that I have ever been in that situation. I just don't let gender be a factor in my career. Be smart, be honest, and be good at what you do, and you will earn respect. Talking sports and cursing like a pirate (when appropriate) can come in handy too!

Lynn, I'd like to say that I'm smart, honest and good at what I do however I too have experienced discrimination. So I think saying "be smart, be honest and be good at what you do" implies that the reason women are discriminated against is because we don't fit the criteria you just stated. We most certainly are all that and much more however discrimination still occurs... be careful how you word things otherwise it sounds like you're stereotyping women into anything but "smart, honest and good at what they do".

I guess the intent of my message didn't get carried through in my words. It wasn't directed at you, sorry if it came across that way.

Agree 100% with Undisclosed 6.

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

I don't think any woman wants gender to be a factor in her career. I think most women discover gender to be a factor in their career whether they want it to or not. Telling yourself "I'm not going to be affected by discrimination" doesn't mean that you're not going to be affected by discrimination. I'm glad that you have had a positive experience and feel that you have been treated well. But women shouldn't have to "earn respect" any more than men should. Respect for both genders should be a given.

I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

Be smart, be honest, and be good at what you do, and you will earn respect.

This advice is equally valid coming from a man or a woman, to a man or a woman, is it really subversive to gender equality?

But women shouldn't have to "earn respect" any more than men should.

Disagree.

Men are not automatically respected, nor should they be. Why shouldn't men AND women have to earn respect, based on the job they do?

Respect for both genders should be a given.

Sure, but I think Lynn means respected as "someone who can do their job well", not just because they are a man or a woman.

Undisclosed 6 and Anna were both bang on here - thank you.

>>But women shouldn't have to "earn respect" any more than men should.

>>>>Disagree. Men are not automatically respected, nor should they be. Why shouldn't men AND women have to earn respect, based on the job they do?

Undisclosed 1, please reread that sentence. She didn't say men don't have to earn respect, she said women shouldn't have to earn it any MORE than men do.

>>Be smart, be honest, and be good at what you do, and you will earn respect.

>>>This advice is equally valid coming from a man or a woman, to a man or a woman, is it really subversive to gender equality?

Yes, it's subversive. I truly believe Lynn's intentions were good, but her statement implied that because doing these things worked for her, they were the 'solution' to discrimination.

This in turn implies that the 'only 79% of pay' that women get, and the discrimination they face, is due to most women NOT doing these things.

Lynn,

I do think that for an female individual contributor, it's easier to just do the job well and blend in. Moving up from there, it becomes another ball game.

I'm happy for you of course. However, I disagree with your basic suggestion that women must act like men to be accepted by them. e.g. I don't think that taking on cursing is the way to move up the management chain. I bet men like and respect you because you are true to yourself and talented. I just assume that's your natural personality. It's definitely not mine, and I don't know any other female executives who behave that way.

Having said all this I'm reminding of the serenity saying:

- Accept the things I cannot change
- Change the things you can
- Have the wisdom to know the difference.

Undisclosed 1, please reread that sentence.

Ok, let's take a look, here it is:

But women shouldn't have to "earn respect" any more than men should.

Now consider the same sentence with a different verb:

But women shouldn't have to "grovel" any more than men should.

Most people, IMHO, would take the second sentence to mean "neither men nor women should have to grovel." Yes/no?

So, I took the first sentence the way most would take the second. Why?

First reason: "earn respect" is in double quotes. To me it seemed mocking. Maybe Anna or you can explain why it need to be "scare quoted".

Second reason: The very next statement is:

Respect for both genders should be a given.

This respect should just be a given, not earned. Maybe this is a different type of respect?

Hi Undisclosed 1.

Thank you for clarifying. I now see the ambiguity and your own interpretation.

I do see different types of respect.

'Personal respect' which could be a starting point for all...but definitely could be lost by blatant unethical behavior.

My own opinion is that the 'work respect' must be somewhat earned (by both genders).

I may respect the person as an 'human' by default, but do not necessarily respect their work until I've actually seen it. Some folks are either in the wrong position for their skillset, or not reliable in delivering what they commit to. In many cases, our own work results are dependent on others delivering, and when someone doesn't on multiple occasions, you learn not to trust them (trust and respect can be connected).

I realize you are the one who actually started this thread to understand. Interesting conversation that resulted.

Interesting conversation that resulted.

Hopefully the net is positive.

i do believe that as the workforce is continually replenishing with fresh blood that things will get better and better for everyone. Most people won't change their minds, but they do retire eventually.

As big as the gender disparity is today, hasn't some progress been made?

For instance, I think that the 'booth babe' era has peaked, and in 5 years no one will miss them. IMHO, that is because even a slight gain in the ranks of female senior management has started to make men uncomfortable about this practice.

"For instance, I think that the 'booth babe' era has peaked, and in 5 years no one will miss them. IMHO, that is because even a slight gain in the ranks of female senior management has started to make men uncomfortable about this practice."

Interesting take. If that same thing were said in a different way that is less passive and more aggressive - it might be easier to see the anti-male sentiment there.

i.e. Booth babes would still be the norm if the numbers of women in senior positions hadn't risen to the levels they are at today - because men know they are sexist and don't care until they are shamed into pretending to care.

I didn't get any 'anti-male' sentiment from that comment at all. Although I wasn't the one that made the statement, this is what I've personally seen happen across a couple of industries:

The male execs running the companies that use booth babes (and yes, it's always men that I've seen do it, but again there are more male execs) either:

1. Don't give it any thought as to whether booth babes offend other women; they just think it's effective to use them.

2. Know that the booth babes offend some women, but 1) the execs believe that the primarily male target audience considers the booth babes a draw, and 2) the execs are highly focused on sales, and decide the risk of offending a few folks is worth the gain of attracting more prospects to their booth.

So those male executives are not necessarily 'sexist.' I would say that it's more that they are highly focused on what they *believe* is the best way to get sales, that they just don't care what the minority think.

I've seen those males execs pull back when a female with some level of authority insisted that they were offensive and made a big enough fuss that the male exec listened, or got the conference staff to create a strict policy.

What I really want to see is 'hard data' on whether it actually works anyway. I'm not convinced.

Booth Babes Don't Work

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/13/booth-babes-dont-convert/

ps That article wasn't 'hard data', just anectodal, I do wish a real study could be done.

...it might be easier to see the anti-male sentiment there.

No easier than it is to see the misogyny in yours.

I think a lot of the gender discrimination is also customer driven, not just the security industry. I do a lot of work in public safety, seaports, and public transportation. All of these groups act quite appropriately. I've also worked with petrochemical. If you're in the oil and gas space, hide your daughters, hide your wives, it's caveman time.

Anna,

Why do you add your disclaimer to each and every post you make? I ask because nobody else does this on this site - including other Hikvision employees.

Plus, while I will not speak for others, personally I find it annoying - as if you are simply trying to interject the name of your company as many times as possible into each thread that you post on. You are in marketing after all. :)

You can do as you please, but perhaps something like the below would suffice on the first post you make on each string:

"I am an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post (and any which follow in this string) are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision."

And I find it annoying when people post anonymously but hey, live and let live, right?

I have been instructed by my employer to always identify myself as a Hikvision employee when posting online and state that my opinions are solely my opinions.

right.

I am not an employee of Hikvision. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hikvision.

Ok, 4, deep breadth.

Anna, I am going to ask Hikvision to soften that. It's one thing to disclose that if you say something that clearly relates to your products. It's another when it's a general topic like this.

I don't find it annoying and I think it is smart. Commentary forums can quickly turn controversial. A persons individual beliefs should be seperated from what company mission statements and stated core beliefs are, and I don't see it as a plug. Kudos to Anna.

Having it once in a thread is maybe appropriate. In this thread, it is there 6 times (or more). This is Hikvision's policy so I understand Anna is just following company policy. However, I have requested Hikvision adjust this.

IPVM's rule is that disclosure is only needed if there is a conflict, i.e., if Anna posted that Hikvision's cameras are better than Dahua's. But a general topic like this is reasonably understood not to be the views of a person's employer.

My new post somehow never made it, so here's my shorter version...

All Anna has to do is post:

"My views are my own and not that of my employer"

Makes the same point without us having to see the Hikvision name over and over and over - even if not intentional on her end.

I don't see what the big deal is. I see long winded disclosures in emails and signatures in forums all the time. I just pass over them. But that's just my view, and not necessarily the view of my company. "And that's all I got to say about that."

Having it once in a thread is maybe appropriate. In this thread, it is there 6 times (or more).

Yes. I'm certain Anna is just complying with policy here. Ironically, it's hard NOT to associate this thread with Hikvision after reading it over and over.

Don't think of a oak tree. Too late.

I've had a few women ask me about my job while I'm working, and show some interest, but when I start talking about how "No, there isn't really any schooling, just kind of learn as you go." that seems to make their interest drop.

Or as they watch me struggle to fish a line, or troubleshoot a problem with a camera 14 feet in the air while I work alone, having to run back and forth from camera location to location x. Or having a million people make me stop my work to walk through that door strike/mag lock I'm working on, causing the work to take three times longer.

I can't say I blame them when they lose interest when I mention there is no real schooling. It means on paper it's difficult to prove your abilities. No 'degree' to go along with my hard work. While I was raised to believe I don't need a piece of paper to tell some one I know how to do my job, that does seem to be the norm in many other lines of work. And at times it has made me wonder what's going to happen when I do finally get sick enough of the security business to look elsewhere.

How many of my skills will transfer? How many potential employers in another line of work are going to understand what I've done? But I suppose that's a topic for another thread.

Demand for male elementary teachers remains unanswered

Found this interesting, maybe you will too.

Are men discriminated against here?

Are men not interested?

Both?

Is this like the Security Industry in reverse or not?

California Employers Will Face Significant New Equal Pay Law

California employers will soon be subject to a new equal pay law that will create a much stricter standard for gender pay equity. Passed by the state legislature with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 6, 2015, this new law is considered the most aggressive equal pay law in the nation. California employers will want to begin preparing immediately for its impact. What Will The New Law Prohibit? The new law (SB 358) will amend California’s Equal Pay Act to prohibit an employer from paying employees of one sex lower than employees of the opposite sex for “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.” Link