As mentioned in the May-June 2018 edition, the US magazine undertook a survey of women working in the loss prevention industry seeking to understand what issues or challenges women have encountered in their LP careers. The original survey results were summarized in a cover article in that issue, and a follow-up article providing reactions from retail leaders was published in our July-August 2018 edition.
For those who have not read the articles, I want to offer here some of the reactions as reported in our follow-up article, including actual quotes from respondents, because of the importance of this topic. The original article can be found here, while the follow-up article can be located here.
Recruiting and Developing Talent
While the response to this issue was mixed and most feel that significant strides have been made, many respondents also agree that this remains an area of opportunity.
“Generally, I think retailers are doing a good job in this area, but there are still some pockets where there is very little female representation. I don’t think retailers are doing a great job with developing females beyond middle-management positions. There are still far too few women in senior levels of leadership in retail loss prevention.”
The Blind Spot
Many women believe that a “good ole boy” network still exists in loss prevention that somehow excludes women and/or others outside of the group. While others wouldn’t specifically refer to it as a “good ole boy” network, every industry leader that responded stated they feel that while there has been a significant improvement in recent years, there remains a subculture that appears to carry an exclusive bias, intolerance, misconception, or misunderstanding of others.
“I don’t think our teams hear enough from the leaders in our industry. We have to make people feel more than included. We must give them a sense of belonging.”
Leaders Stepping Up
Promotions and other advancement opportunities should always be based on merit, productivity, commitment, potential, flexibility, ingenuity, and other performance-based factors. Overcoming disparities requires that we develop strategies that focus on engaging all talented individuals in growth opportunities regardless of gender or other nonperformance issues.
“There is no doubt that where you work and for whom you work will have an impact on your opportunities for advancement. But you control what you do and how you do it. Everyone needs to do the job, be present, show up, go above and beyond, own everything you do for better or worse, reject entitlement, embrace inclusion, be a team player first, and pick your battles. If you embrace these simple rules, gender shouldn’t matter.”
When asked whether organizations should support mentorship programs, industry leaders made it very clear where their thoughts lie. Every leader offered an unequivocal “yes.”
“I’ve had mentors and sponsors in my life that knew more about my potential than I did. Every organization should have a program, and they should invest time and money into it.”
The Value of Diversity
The issue of integrating diverse populations into the retail enterprise is an ongoing challenge. We believe this survey provides insights that all loss prevention leaders and organizations should consider as they seek to enhance the productivity and success of their teams. We encourage you to download the full report. There are seventeen pages of statistics and quoted responses on a variety of questions for your consideration.
We also wish to thank Tyco Retail Solutions and Protos Security for sponsoring the women of loss prevention survey. We plan to address other topics in future surveys. Any suggestions for survey topics that will impact the LP community are welcome. Send your suggestions to JackT [at] LPportal.com.