A conversation with Jason Charles, Manager of Operations Efficiency at Innovative Security Technologies LTD, an ICoCA Member Company based in Trinidad & Tobago
Tell us about Innovative Security Technologies LTD
Innovative Security Technologies Ltd is a privately owned limited liability company operating within the security industry in Trinidad and Tobago for the last eighteen years. Innovative Security Technologies is a member of the ICoCA and the British Safety Council, as well as STOW Certified. Of the 860 personnel employed by Innovative Security Technologies Ltd, approximately 825 are directly involved in providing our security services, whereas the other 35 provide administrative and managerial support. The guard force is comprised of 375 male officers and 485 female officers.
In a sector that’s often regarded as male dominated that’s an interesting gender balance, could you tell us a little more about that?
Traditionally, the security industry has indeed been male dominated. This has created a misconception that the industry is only suitable for male employees. However, in recent times security companies have embraced more diverse hiring practices and increasingly included females into their workforce.
With the evolution of the security industry from a “guard or watchmen” to a dynamic service provider with a broad scope of responsibilities, Innovative Security Technologies Ltd launched a campaign to have more female officers in Government Ministry locations such as schools, hospitals, and lobbies to corporate and financial institutions that required some forms of security responsibility as the first point of contact with customers. Initially, a commitment was made to maintain a 70%-30% balance of male to female officers as an introductory period for 6 months, in order to mediate the hesitation of some clients. It was during this 6 month period of close monitoring and observing the performance of our officers in the workplace the company identified the true advantages of having females in the guard force. As a result of these observations, over the last five years the ratio of female to male officers have reversed, now with a 70%-30% female to male officer composition.
The strict adherence to the pre-employment screening of applicants with background and medical checks, specifically drug testing, additionally strengthened our case for females in the workforce. While only one in fifteen males would pass the standard 7 Point drug test, only one in twenty females would fail the drug test. Innovative Security Technologies Ltd is committed to enforcing a drug free work force and will not hire anyone who has failed a drug test, in order to provide the highest quality officers to our clients and ensure a safe work environment for their employees.
Are there advantages of having a majority female workforce?
Innovative Security Technologies Ltd is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. By doing so, the company enjoys a competitive advantage in the marketplace through diversification. Further, a diverse workforce spawns new growth and fosters an environment where unique perspectives and ideas can be shared among employees developing skilled teams.
Our workplace statistics show that the inclusion of female security officers into the workforce has been a driving force to increase productivity. Likewise, the collaboration within a diverse work place fosters a more creative environment. Innovative Security Technologies seeks exceptional knowledge, skill and capability in respect to job tasks in any new hire, and many women have such abilities, as well as significant communication, observational and decision making skills.
Of course the men in our company play an invaluable role too. Innovative Security Technology seeks to highlight the value of collaboration and diversity of thought within the workplace, which is gained through increased female employees.
What advice would you give to other private security companies in their hiring decisions and operations?
Diversity is key to the organization of the future and the incorporation of female officers in the security industry is an effective part of this process. The benefits of this hiring practice create immeasurable contributions to any organization. In particular, we’ve benefited from strong team dynamics, effective decision making, increased innovation and creativity and a boost to the bottom line as a result of increased productivity.
Through its philanthropic work in the remote areas of Trinidad, Innovative Security Technologies has been commended for creating more job opportunities for single mothers, as well as setting the standard for other companies to follow.