LP Magazine

SEP-OCT 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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by David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP Zulawski and Sturman are executives in the investigative and training firm of Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates (w-z.com). Zulawski is a senior partner, and Sturman is president. Sturman is also a member of ASIS International's Retail Loss Prevention Council. They can be reached at 800-222-7789 or via email at dzulawski@w-z.com and ssturman@w-z.com. © 2018 Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. INTERVIEWING continued on page 14 Hello Ladies… and Gentlemen W e read with interest the Women of Loss Prevention survey in the May–June and July–August 2018 editions of LP Magazine. From our own experience during the last thirty-five years, we have seen a significant change in the genders, racial mixture, and ages of those attending our training programs. When we first started in business, older white males almost exclusively held the top slots in loss prevention and police. Our participants in our classes were also largely males, again mostly white. But times have changed, and for the better we think. Women now hold top positions in loss prevention and influence changes in our field. Our classes reflect the impact of these changes with the number of women taking our programs often equaling the men. Part of this change can be attributed to the attendance of human resource professionals, which in many organizations is staffed by a majority of women, but even adjusting for that, females in our field are increasing. In the public sector females are also taking a leadership role assuming the chief of police positions in some major departments. The private sector has changed much faster than the public sector when including women in leadership positions and in general hiring. Law enforcement positions by their very nature discourage leaving the job for another position. Officers generally stay with one department for their entire careers to obtain a pension, thus turnover is generally low. Thirty years ago an open police position might have 300-plus applicants vying for the single position, and there were almost no women seeking this type of work. If the officers didn't retire until twenty to thirty years later, there were just no open slots for women. Additionally, the opportunity to advance was limited to openings in that department since most agencies did not hire from the outside, except perhaps for a chief of police position. This thinking has eased in some agencies where officers can make some lateral moves from one organization to another. Others agencies still have union rules where experienced officers lose their tenure thereby starting at the bottom of the pecking order again if they join a new department. One other factor that slowed women's advancement in law enforcement was the physical challenges necessary to get the job. The physical agility tests for hiring were often too difficult for women to pass resulting in them not making the hiring list or landing very low in the standings. Another factor was the institutional thinking of government agencies, which was difficult to change because there was little turnover, resulting in a business-as-usual attitude. It took years of steady pressure for a law enforcement departments' thinking to change and realize women could handle field situations and need not be relegated to only child abuse or family issues. Clearly, law enforcement is changing, but the change is much slower, in some cases glacial. The change in the private sector relating to women has been more rapid because of people's ability to change jobs, advance, and bring new ideas to the organization. Certication We were pleased to see that in the Women of Loss Prevention survey, 90 percent agreed that advancement was attainable with 70 percent believing they had the same promotional opportunities as a man. Almost 80 percent of women responding to the survey felt their organizations were doing an effective job of recruiting female talent into loss prevention and their company was effective at promoting diversity in the loss prevention department. The vast majority of women (92%) felt they had the support and respect of their "Although at the time I did not perceive joining different associations was a form self-marketing, in retrospect that's what occurred. The broader your base, the more knowledge you gain, the more areas you find to connect with others, which grows your network and ultimately promotes yourself." – Kathleen Smith, Safeway 12 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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