Assistant Editor, IFSEC Global

December 2, 2021

Sign up to free email newsletters

Download

The 2022 State of Physical Access Control Report

IFSEC Interviews

“I’d like to see more women in active, senior roles – they are capable of it, they just need to be shown that it’s possible” – Triton Group’s Natalie Foxcroft

IFSEC Global talks to Natalie Foxcroft, Systems Director at Triton Group, to find out about her journey from a hair and beauty apprentice, to a Managing Director in the security industry, and everything in between…

Natalie Foxcroft, Triton Security

IFSEC Global (IG): Hi Natalie, it’s so great to speak to you. Can you start by telling us a little bit about your early life – would you ever have imagined yourself working in the security industry?

(NF): “When I was at school, I never imagined I would end up joining a security company. I’ve always been a ‘girly girl’ shall we say, so, as a teen, I decided to work towards a career in the hair and beauty industry.

“I ended up working long days in salons for not a lot of money, and soon realised that it wasn’t a career I wanted to pursue long-term.

“I left the industry and ended up getting a job as a receptionist for Triton Security.”

(IG): How did you find the industry shift? What was it like moving into a sector you had no previous knowledge of?

(NF): “At that point, Triton was a small company with only a few contractors, so I was one of only a few employees.

“Clients would come in daily, and being the person I am, as soon as they would come to reception, I would take the time to have a chat with them. I was shocked to realise that it was quite a friendly industry, and the clients were really relaxed and easy to talk to.

“One day, a client came in and started talking to me at reception, he then went through to his meeting with the directors and recommended that they promote me to sales. Apparently, he said something like, ‘why have you got that girl hiding away on a reception desk, you need her out selling!’ An hour later, I was called into the office and asked if I would like to start selling, I was like, oh, wow, yeah! I didn’t really know what I was selling – at that point all I did was answer the phone, but they were really eager to teach me.”

(IG): What did that initial sales role consist of? How did you then progress to your next position?

(NF): “I started off at the very bottom, going round to every local business and putting leaflets in their letterboxes come rain or shine, but I persevered with it. I ended up talking to different people and learning about different aspects of the industry and, eventually, I managed to learn about what I was selling.

“When I had my little boy, I took a little bit of a break from the industry, which was a difficult transition. Sales is a full-time job, it’s not just a 9 to 5. A lot of the clients I had, had been with me for a long time. You can’t just go on holiday and forget about your clients – well, you can, but that wasn’t the service I wanted to deliver to people.

“When my son was in school, I went to work for a company in Newcastle. I was completely thrown out of my comfort zone once again, transitioning from security to construction.

“On my first day, I was so nervous, but soon grew to absolutely love it. There’s no better feeling than walking onto a construction site, going into the site cabin, meeting with the guys, having a coffee and a bacon butty with them, and just having a chat.

“So many women must think oh, I could never just walk onto a construction site and start a conversation with a load of builders, and that’s a stigma I really want to address.”

(IG): What has your personal experience been like as a woman in a male dominated industry?

(NF): “All the guys I’ve met throughout my career have been super nice and friendly. Security and construction isn’t bursting at the seams with scary men, if you’re willing to get stuck in, there’s no reason for you to feel like an outsider.”

(IG): At what point did you realise that you wanted to go one step further and start your own business?

(NF): “As I started to build up my client base, I realised that the sites I was focusing on expanded a lot wider than Yorkshire. Within a year, I was managing 30 + sites, all of which were relationships I had built myself, and, I remember thinking, do you know what? I can do this myself, why do I need to work for someone else when I’m capable of managing my own business?

“A few people thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care, I went off and began developing an idea I had for adapting systems and the service. As far as I’m concerned, whether it’s temporary site CCTV, permanent CCTV or guarding, if it’s being provided to the construction industry, people don’t seem to think sufficient quality needs to be a factor, which it clearly does.

“Whatever you’re providing, whether you’re installing CCTV in Buckingham Palace or a site cabin, the cabling and install should be done to an equally high standard, with the correctly specified equipment for the job.”

(IG): So, can you tell us a little bit about your role now?

(NF): “I am now the Director of Triton Systems at the Triton Group, which has grown massively since I first worked there. There are now six companies under the Triton Group, the original company which offers guarding, facilities management and waking watch services, Triton Risk, Triton Recruitment, Triton Trak, Triton Systems, and Triton Projects.

“Within the group we’ve got some great women in strong positions. For example, we’ve got Lauren Gibson, our Head of Operations. She’s been with the company for 13 years now, and, like me, started out as a receptionist.

“There are a lot of women in a lot of different areas within security, but mainly in offices. I would personally like to see a lot more women in active, senior roles, because they are capable of it, they just need to be shown that it is possible, and, hopefully, I can be an example of that.”

‘Secure by Default’ in the Age of Converged Security: Insights from IFSEC 2019

From data security to the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence, the conversations at IFSEC International shape future security strategies and best practices. This eBook brings you exclusive insights from these conversations, covering:

  • A Global Political and Security Outlook from Frank Gardner OBE
  • Surveillance Camera Day: Tony Porter launches ‘Secure by Default’ requirements for video surveillance systems
  • Using Drones to Secure the Future
  • Autonomous Cars and AI: Relocating human incompetence from drivers to security engineers?
  • The Ethical and Geopolitical Implications of AI and Machine Learning

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments