Scotswoman in security changing attitude

Lorna Macallum of Professional Security

A GLASGOW based door supervisor and retail guard is urging more women to join the largely male profession in the build up to International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Lorna Macallum, 34, honed her people and team skills as a head chef in pressurised professional kitchens before swapping careers for the variety and adrenalin rush of working on the frontline for Professional Security.

Lorna, who is the daughter of a former police officer, joined the company a year ago. Not one to sit behind a desk, she sought out a hands on, problem-solving role where no two days are the same and she could put her skills to use helping people.

Weekdays usually see her on duty in retail settings, while at weekends she works the doors at pubs and clubs. More unusual assignments have seen her guarding film set locations in the Scottish Highlands for a new Star Wars series, bounding over the terrain in a 4×4 to keep inquisitive onlookers away. The company was hired by the landowners to carry out mountain patrols which coincided with the filming.

It is not a problem being a woman in a sector where men are still in the majority. Lorna said: “I enjoy the challenge and the fact that everything is down to you and your actions and how you handle a situation. I go to different locations and environments on day and night shifts. There is real variety and opportunities for different kinds of security work.”

She knows a few females who work the doors and feels attitudes are changing to the role of women in the industry.

Lorna said: “We bring a different point of view and different skills to the work. We are more approachable when people are feeling delicate and we use our voice more than our muscles to deal with situations. I like working in hospitality where we can help women remain safe. I make a point of going to groups of ladies and asking them if they are alright and looking out for the safety of young ones on a night out.” 

Lorna has her SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence and in future would like to gain her Close Protection badge to open up further opportunities.

Professional Security has launched a Women Winning In Security initiative, with the aim to double the number of females deployed in frontline positions over the next three years by promoting the variety of roles on offer and the ability to work flexible hours. Currently Professional Security has over 9,000 frontline staff of which under 10% are women and the aim is double this by 2025.

The company’s Head of Talent, Dawn Hotchen, said: “Women bring a fresh approach to the traditional view of our profession. They are often calming influences and help to prevent problems escalating. The roles are so varied and offer flexible working, which appeals to many women.”

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