Ahead of International Women’s Day, we asked Cheryl Kelly, Security Supervisor, to share lessons from her career in the security industry. Cheryl tells us why she is so passionate about her role and what advice she would give to other women looking to pursue a career in security.
How did you begin your career in security?
When I was 9 years old, I started Karate and really enjoyed it. I was unsure what path I wanted to take when I left school. My karate instructor owned a security company and I covered some shifts for him when I was 21 years of age.
I found my love for security when I went to my first security training. I was shown how to put out fires, how to be a store detective, and how to protect people. There was a lot of thinking involved and so much to learn. A day in security can be fun, frustrating, interesting, and most of all a constant learning curve. I have been working with Bidvest Noonan for over 15 years. I have been blessed with the company and have learned so much and still have so much to learn. Each day in security is very different from the last, but I have gained many life skills throughout my career, and continue to learn and be challenged every day.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I have a store detective contract. When I am asked what I do people always find it of interest. I never have any two days the same. I love the fact that I am involved in training and improvement of the running of the store. I really try to be fair and approachable by developing a good relationship with clients.
Nothing makes me happier than solving a problem or making someone’s day easier.
How has Bidvest Noonan helped your career in the security industry?
Since I started working for Bidvest Noonan my knowledge of the security industry has significantly increased. The most valuable part of being part of such a big company has been meeting great people from different sectors.
When we were in lockdown, I had the opportunity to work in the Healthcare sector. I was so grateful for the opportunity of learning so much from my colleagues while supporting this essential sector during the pandemic. I have made many friends and it is a time in my lifetime I will never forget and forever appreciate. I don’t believe I would have got this within any other company.
Cheryl, what has been the proudest moment in your career?
There have been many great moments in my career but being nominated for the ISIA security officer of the year was memorable. But the single moment that stands with me is when I and a colleague saved the life of a child in a very difficult situation.
I am also very proud of helping people along the way and seeing them excelling in their roles.
What advice would you give to other women looking to begin a career in security?
GO FOR IT!!
In the past, the security industry was mostly dominated by men but fortunately, now there are great women working in security. Women bring unique strengths and perspectives to security. We can inspire others and create a more equitable industry for all.