Selen is a board member of Women's Security Society (WSS) and a firm believer that in today's rushed world, we should pay a little bit more attention and listen. In this latest interview, Selen discusses her successes, challenges and the valuable efficiency and productivity diverse teams bring.
Could you describe the journey that led you into the security industry?
It was a random, not intended. Through recruitment, I got to meet the field.
What are the main transferrable skills you brought to your security career from
previous roles and how have these skills supported you?
Listening: we often miss the point while trying to get something done, especially in this
culture of hard capitalism that rewards ‘the grind'.
What do you consider your biggest successes in your career?
More than 60% of my placements being women in a field that still has so much room for progress.
Have you had any setbacks and how did you deal with those?
It is a tiring role. I have had an experience of a layoff, but I have pushed through as this is a
process like everything. Making sure I listen to myself and feel my emotions is important.
Neuroscientists say we can stay in an emotion for 90 seconds maximum - if we allow
ourselves to feel. Imagine how wonderful feeling 1.5 minutes of pain throughout any
process can be, compared to constant repression and the fight against oneself.
Do you think there are good career progression opportunities for women in the
security industry? What could be done to create more opportunities?
Not enough. We need more meetings, webinars and events to network with each other.
More awareness of how a women’s perspective adds value. We need to spark more
conversations on stories in the workplace. We need more men to join our cause and they
should invite us to these venues where opportunities are mentioned.
"We need more meetings, webinars and events to network with each other. More awareness of how a women’s perspective adds value. We need to spark more conversations on stories in the workplace."
Do you have any role models or mentors who have inspired your career?
All of the WSS Board: Anas’s boldness, Ruth’s wisdom, Alessandra’s beautiful energy, Anna-
Liisa’s perceptiveness, Caitlin’s humour and sincerity.
What inspires you about the security sector?
That the people in are all heroes behind the scenes, keeping others safe without them even
What advice would you give to women who are starting in or transitioning into the
You can always speak your mind. It is daunting to have an 80-90% male ratio in an industry. That’s
precisely why your thoughts matter more, it is even better if they are different. There are so
many studies on how valuable efficiency and productivity are in bringing diversity to a team.
Imagine just how valuable women’s mindset is on security, considering we rarely feel fully
safe. No matter the scale, our contribution makes a huge difference in this field that needs
so many updates.
"No matter the scale, our contribution makes a huge difference in this field that needs so many updates."
How do you think WSS can contribute to the security industry?
By bringing women together as a platform to network and share ideas, and by empowering
women who are in the field or considering switching.