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January 17, 2023


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IPSA appoints new EDI&W Director

The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) has appointed Riyaz Somani as their new Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Welfare (EDI&W) Director. IFSEC Global hears more from IPSA below.

Riyaz, who moved to the United Kingdom in 2008 to start working as a front-line officer, experienced a startling lack in diversity amongst his team. This inspired him to promote greater equality and inclusivity among the countless groups making up the work force. He has taken significant steps to bridge the gap between people stemming from all backgrounds and create a more inclusive working environment for everyone.

Riyaz Somani, EDI&W Director at IPSA

Riyaz has been an active voice within his organisation, contributing to the design and delivery of unconscious bias and cultural intelligence training.

Satia Rai, CEO at IPSA, said, “Riyaz’s appointment as the new Equality Diversity Inclusion & Welfare Director is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure our industry is representative of the communities we serve. We believe that by valuing inclusion, we will create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential.”

He recently hosted the Talent Pipeline at HMS Belfast with great success, where many influential industry leaders attended and discussed pertinent challenges such as those close to Riyaz and IPSA’s heart. In his role with IPSA, he has been the stimulus for a productive discussion on front-line personnel and media relations at the British Library. These initiatives are part of Riyaz’s larger mission to increase awareness and understanding of EDI&W issues in our field.

“It is great to have Riyaz join IPSA in such an important role. The diversity, inclusion and welfare of front-line teams is embedded within everyone at IPSA, and our goal is to work towards making it a part of the norm for the entire sector. Until that happens, we and the wider industry need to ensure this remains a key focus and driver, empowering us all with the richness, knowledge and experience that diversity, inclusion, and a front-line whose welfare is taken care of, can bring,” said Simon Pears, Chair at IPSA.

Commenting on his new role, Riyaz said, “I believe that my journey from a security officer to the Head of Security for a national library has taught me many important lessons and has enabled me to be an empathetic advocate for staff on the ground. I know how to support them and encourage them to be the best version of themselves. Their welfare and training are my top priority as a business leader, and I take a personal interest in every team member’s journey.

“I am very impressed by IPSA’s ethos and values as they align very closely to my own. Having recently spoken to some of the other IPSA board members, I have realised that Association means business and that the team is truly motivated and serious about promoting and advocating the needs of front-line officers.”

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