Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 30, 2021


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Diversity & Inclusivity

First of its kind Rainbow Group launched for security sector by Security Institute Inclusivity SIG

Said to be the first of its kind for the security sector, a new Rainbow LGBTQ+ Group has been launched by members of the Security Institute’s Inclusive Security Special Interest Group (ISSIG) to support professionals and help create a security industry that is reflective of the wider community it protects.

“Not all of us feel able to be ourselves. Its about time we should do.”

These were the words used to open the first meeting of the security sector’s first Rainbow Group, underlining the importance of why the group has been launched. 16 months in the making, the group will provide a safe space for security professionals to feel comfortable in discussing their own experiences and challenges, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Led by Security Institute members Mel Hipwood MSyl and Satia Rai MSyl, alongside ARC Monitoring’s Sian Doherty and the Security Institute’s Marketing and PR Officer, Ben Harding, the aim is provide a wide range of support for Rainbow professionals in the security industry. Inclusive of LGBTQ+ professionals and allies alike, the team highlighted their desire to create a security industry that is reflective of the diverse communities it serves and protects.


Left to Right: Rick Mounfield CSyP FSyI, Ben Harding, Sian Doherty MSyI, Mel Hipwood MSyI and Satia Rai MSyI

Key to this will be creating a safe space for professionals to speak out and discuss their own experiences. All members will be asked to sign a Confidentiality Commitment Statement upon joining, meaning any discussions of a personal nature will not be discussed outside of meetings, while no photos, screenshots or named social media posts will be shared without explicit consent.

Mel Hipwood, Physical Security Operations Manager at BEIS, adds: “For the rainbow community, work can be a safe haven, sometimes it is the place where they first come out. However, it can also be a place for hesitation and reluctance, where they feel unable to be themselves without experiencing discrimination or harassment.

“The Rainbow community who feel able to bring their whole selves to work have increased energy, better performance and stronger relationships with their peers. We want rainbow individuals to know that we are there for them, that it is safe to be yourself and by creating a more inclusive sector we will gain a more diverse workforce which promotes positivity and helps us relate more to the diverse world we live in and are responsible for protecting.”

In a Security Institute Inclusivity Survey which ran earlier this year and received over 700 responses, 3% of security professionals identified as gay, 2% as lesbian, 2% as bisexual and 2% asexual. However, following a series of more in-depth interviews with LGBTQ+ respondents, the Institute found that ‘not one felt comfortable about being their authentic selves at work’. Indeed, in a 2019 government survey, 70% of LGBTQ+ people said that they avoided being open about their sexual orientation for fear of a negative reaction.

These are exactly the issues that the group wants to overcome. By promoting inclusivity and equality of opportunity in a safe environment, and by providing support for individuals and companies to speak openly about their experiences and challenges, the Security Institute Rainbow Group is aiming to establish a network throughout the UK (and eventually globally) for the community and its allies.

Part of this will include taking part in London Pride 2022 and holding regular meet-ups. The group will also offer ongoing advice for individuals and companies looking to discuss their experiences and support their own colleagues and employees.

Satia Rai MSyl adds: “The Rainbow Group will be providing a wide range of support for Rainbow+ people in the security institute and wider security industry. A safe place for them to be proud and out, be themselves.

“Helping to create a security industry that is reflective of our diverse communities, that we serve and protect. Promoting inclusiveness and equality of opportunity for all our Rainbow+ community professionals.”

The team is now welcoming those who would like to reach out. Simply email [email protected] to get involved or to find out more. 

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