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Women of security: Lauren Snelling

"My career has been fairly short so far, but a success has been delivering work to clients that provides them with tangible security benefits, e.g. spotting a security risk they had been unaware of or helping someone out of a dangerous location." Lauren Snelling tells us about starting her career in the security sector and now successfully navigating its further opportunities as a Senior Associate for an international emergency response company.


Could you describe the journey that led you into the security sector?

I was not even aware of the security industry before I interviewed for the position that became my first role. After studying Politics and International Relations at university I was interested in a job that would follow the topics of my degree. I felt this would be the best way to start my career, as I would at least have some knowledge of the topic. I applied for lots of jobs related to international relations and also reached out to my network where ever possible.


What does ‘security’ mean to you? How would you describe the industry?

To me, security means protection from risk and in the case of the security industry, I mainly work with physical security. This encompasses both human and asset security, and has a multitude of ways of materialising.


What do you like about your work and what inspires you about this sector?

First about the security industry, I really enjoy the topic and its relationship to current affairs. News stories in a far away place have tangible impacts for the sector and its clients, and I find this keeps the work relevant and interesting. In relation to my work, I like the variety which the position and the industry in general offers. As the industry grows, it will only offer more opportunities.

Do you think there are good career progression opportunities for women in the security industry? What could be done to create more opportunities?

I believe there are growing opportunities for women in the sector. Recognising the value of cross-industry hires (understanding the value of transferable skills) will help those women who have non-conventional career backgrounds, while mentoring women that are new to the industry will accelerate their development.


What do you consider your biggest successes in your career? Have you had any setbacks and how did you deal with those?

My career has been fairly short so far, but a success has been delivering work to clients that provides them with tangible security benefits, e.g. spotting a security risk they had been unaware of or helping someone out of a dangerous location. When dealing with setbacks I think it is important not to get bogged down by them. It is important to understand the lessons from the set back and take them forward, rather than allow the issue to cause you to be more reserved in your work and choices. Easier said than done, however!


Do you have any role models or mentors who have inspired your career in the security sector?

The women I have and still work with are inspiring to me. Watching them succeed and navigate problems/failures/barriers has and is teaching me many lessons.



The women I have and still work with are inspiring to me. Watching them succeed and navigate problems/failures/barriers has and is teaching me many lessons.


What advice would you give to younger women who are starting careers in this sector? Where could they find information about the variety of opportunities and career paths?

Learn from those above and beside you. Take as many opportunities as possible to get involved and to learn. Demonstrate willingness to work and don’t be afraid to ask.

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