International Women’s Day 2024

4 min read

Celebrating women in security

It’s International Women’s Day this week on 8 March 2024 and we’re celebrating all of our wonderful women in security. All up we have 290 female employees across all roles and levels, from the frontline to back office and senior management roles.  Here are some of their stories:

Maria Setu – Taranaki Regional Manager

Maria’s duties range from financial management and overseeing the branch’s operations and administrative functions, sales, through to account management for local businesses…and more.  On occasions has even filled in on the frontline when needed.

“It’s an incredibly busy and varied role and no days are the same,” she says.

“Being a prioritiser and multi-tasker are important in this role, and I always say it’s a mum thing because I draw upon a lot of my motherhood skills.

Motherhood has given Maria some very useful skills that she uses every day at work.

Maria laughs and says other useful mum skills are having a finely honed ‘nonsense’ radar, eyes in the back of her head and also empathy.

She worked most of the way through when her now adult son was young and gained another useful skill she has brought to the job – juggling things and making them work even when it seemed impossible.

Even though security is a male-dominated industry, Maria has always felt equally valued.

“I’ve always been of the view that it doesn’t matter whether you’re male, female or other, what race or whatever else you are, it’s what you bring to the job that matters.

“It has been great to see that Armourguard clearly holds the same view and has a good mix of sexes at all levels of the company – from the frontline to upper management.”

Juliana Walsh, National Recruitment Co-ordinator

When Juliana joined the company in early 2023, her job’s goal was crystal clear – to attract people to work at Armourguard. She says empathy and effective communication are key to achieving this.

“Many people undersell themselves in job interviews by saying things like ‘I am just a…’ or ‘I’ve only done…”. I love helping candidates gain confidence to understand and highlight their strengths. For example, I’ll point out skills such as an eye for detail, strong work ethic, etc., that they gained during previous roles, and I’ll encourage them to communicate these attributes in their job interview.

Importantly, Juliana can also read people’s body language – a skill she believes many women have.

“I saw a situation where the interviewer and interviewee were not understanding each other, and the candidate’s body language showed he wasn’t at all happy. So I spoke to the young man and broke the ice by asking ‘so do you play sports because you look like you do’. That turned the situation around and he went on to be recruited.

“Sometimes, being able to read nonverbal ques and put someone at ease is all that is needed.”

Women in security – Juliana Walsh
women in security - Caitlin-Jayne Dench

Caitlin-Jayne Dench, Christchurch Operations Support

Caitlin-Jayne is a “Jill of all trades” for, on top of her very busy operations support duties, she also fills in as a patrol guard regularly.

This gives her deep insights into our customers and their needs, and also what our frontline security team needs in order to provide great service.

Her operations support role involves everything from rostering guards and patrols, and client liaison through to fleet car WoF and maintenance bookings, and guard training. What’s more, she recently took it upon herself to create guard training modules that are now being considered for use across the whole company.

“My job is incredibly busy and varied. I love working under pressure and, like many women, am great at multi-tasking,” she laughs.

Caitlin-Jayne says being a woman helps in other ways, too. “I find the male and female guards often feel comfortable about coming to me with issues that they may feel reluctant to go to a male about.”

And being female most definitely helps when it comes to frontline patrol guard work.

“When doing noise complaint visits, being a woman helps because members of the public tend to be less aggressive towards me than might be the case if they were dealing with a male security officer.”

Suman Lata – National Cash Administrator

Auckland-based Suman has worked at Armourguard more than 18 years. She originally joined the company in a cash floor role and worked in that team for 15 years.

But when the opportunity came up to become the National Cash Administrator, Suman was ready for a change.

“I liked my cash floor job but it’s quite physical, whereas the administration work is more mental. I’m enjoying the change,” she says.

Her National Cash Administrator job involves setting up new accounts, invoices, ledgers, purchase orders and general admin work.

Suman says in the past Armourguard’s cash floor and cash admin roles were mostly held by females, but that’s changing.

“There are more guys now, but they are still outnumbered by women!”

women in security - Suman Lata
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