Men continue to outnumber women in the EP industry to a significant degree. Regardless, research suggests that as many as 14% of the most influential companies worldwide don't have a single female board member. Likewise, other corporations have a low female representation generally.
Still, female executive protection representation has been steadily rising as the security industry is becoming more inclusive. While there are many reasons for these new circumstances, let us mention a few:
- Principals want to have female executive protection agents to protect their children and families more effectively,
- Women as protectors are considered less obvious, thus more covert,
- Females within the principal's household feel more relaxed when escorted by same-gender individuals to public places, and
- Women can more comfortably conduct a body search on other women.
This article will cover how women protectors contribute to the well-being of the principal and their entourage. For the sake of this article, we will assume that the vast majority of principals are male within traditional binary relationships and marital roles.
Wives and Female Executive Protection
The principal's wife is stereotypically not as high-profile as her husband, yet prominent in various public settings and subject to tabloid attention. In some cultures, a woman in the company of an unrelated male may not be considered appropriate behavior.
Males, especially those physically prominent, sometimes have trouble blending in with their environment. Also, women are often underestimated and unrecognized as protectors. Hence, they can pose as the wife's best friend or personal assistant. Further, a female operative has a more nuanced understanding of the wife's need for privacy.
Similarly, when the principal's life companion has a more intimate conversation with a friend or coworker, a male protector would have to remain out of earshot or provide more spatial distance. For female agents, this doesn't necessarily need to be the case.
Closeness may create the illusion of sexual intimacy, and all agents regardless of sexual orientation must maintain strict professional boundaries. Vigilance, professionalism, and respect are important when protecting anyone, but especially within intimate working conditions.
Women agents are generally better at monitoring their emotions and maintaining their behavioral firewalls. Therefore, sexual misconduct and embarrassing paparazzi moments seem unlikely to happen with a female executive protection agent.
Working With Teenagers
In any typical setting, a teenager faces numerous questions in searching for their identity. When we add to the equation a protection escort, this can become an ordeal for both parties. In fact, the evolving behavioral patterns of youth generally become more unpredictable over time.
Conversely, young people could perceive the female executive protection agent as a motherly figure in their lives. Again, this helps plenty while conversing with and getting them out of troubling situations. As a matter of fact, teenagers are more likely to adhere to women's advice than that of males in their environment.
Therefore, wise and prudent agents — male or female — will steer away from sensitive topics, such as:
Here too, the diplomatic tact of female executive protection staff may prove invaluable. For example, they could refer the teenager to their teacher, parent, minister, or someone else who qualifies to talk about such matters.
Additionally, creating rapport with the teenage protectee helps to mitigate or avoid messy situations. For instance, they could be getting into fights, going to clubs, and even meeting strangers for one-night hook-ups. All this creates an operational nightmare for the EP staff.
An agent who has developed rapport, confidence and trust with their teenage principal could avoid the possibility of the teenage protectee ditching them by:
- Exiting a building's side door,
- Getting lost in a crowd,
- Convincing a companion to divert the agent's attention while the teenager goes out the back entrance.
So, keeping the principal's family safe doesn't only mean having the right security mindset but exerting influence and developing rapport with protectees.
Female Executive Protection: A Growing Necessity
However, it is not only women in the principal's vicinity who can tremendously benefit from a protection staff comprised of females. In fact, male protectees can also reap significant benefits from their company. For illustration, imagine a situation where a male principal exits a corporate office or restaurant with a woman by his side.
Is this woman a personal assistant, a friend, or the children's nanny? Again, such considerations can help increase the real and perceived safety of the persons receiving protective services.
Female EPAs attract less attention overall. They may be unable to match their male counterparts' physical proportions but big muscles and menacing looks don’t imply more security for the principal and their family.
Finally, whenever possible, we advise having a mixed team of male and female agents. Generally speaking, an exclusively male team may foster a more aggressive culture. Women working in a protective detail often respond better to routine problems and their strong diplomatic tact could lead to a swift de-escalation of an otherwise volatile situation.
Bedrock Special Projects provides peace of mind by implementing intelligence-driven covert and overt systems to benefit prominent individuals, their families, and corporations. The Art of Executive Protection – Delivered with Elegance by Design.
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