LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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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everyday responsibilities that might be deemed difficult due to the potential for physical altercations and similar situations that occasionally occur in the retail LP setting. ■ Common responses also focused on dedication, respect, resiliency, professionalism, and individuality. Others emphasized concentrating on the value of diverse solutions and shared skills, ideas, and other similarities rather than differences. To ensure that women are provided equal opportunities, mentorship and sponsorship programs were among the most common responses. Others suggested training and education, enhanced policies, and hiring and recruiting practices that would attract more women to the profession. While some stressed the need for companies to take additional action, many women emphasized the need for women to look inside themselves to influence real change. Continuing self-improvement and speaking up to promote their strengths and abilities were frequent responses. Moving Forward While the women who responded envisioned many different ways the role of women in the workforce may change over the next five years, most believed that there would be positive change. Most felt that LP will remain a good career path for women, underscoring the evolving nature of the industry, the prospects for continuing growth and development, learning, and problem-solving to meet the evolving changes and challenges of the retail business, and bringing new and diverse perspectives to the industry as a whole. Many further added that they felt these opportunities were gender-neutral and applied to all LP professionals equally. The most prominent message respondents want other women to know and understand is the need to focus attention on building a successful and productive career based on hard work and exceptional performance rather than allowing distractions and narrow-minded perceptions—whether someone else's perceptions or one' own—to stand in the way. Generally speaking, there was recognition of the need to devote energy to growth and self-development, self-responsibility, self-promotion, and self-confidence. They said integrity is paramount and a successful career is built primarily upon drive, passion, and results. When asked to offer additional advice to young women just starting out in the loss prevention profession, the most prominent message was the importance of seeking out strong mentors, both male and female, who can offer guidance and counseling as they progress as loss prevention professionals. Almost all of the women surveyed described loss prevention as an exciting and rewarding career, sharing messages of support and the opportunity to make a difference. Final Thoughts from the Survey When asked for final comments, concerns, or suggestions, the respondents discussed the strides they feel have been made in loss prevention regarding gender equality, as well as the ongoing need to ensure that men and women are treated as equal partners in the workplace. The women emphasized that while most individuals and organization actively and persistently support gender diversity and equality in the workplace, some still fall short of expectations. By the same respect, most of our respondents felt that women are equally responsible to earn merit through performance rather than gender or any other nonperformance metric. They said time is up for excuses, and we all must work hard, be heard, focus on our own growth and development, remain professional and respectful, and strive to be the best if we want to get ahead professionally. What's Next? What are the next steps? How will loss prevention leadership, retail organizations, and the loss prevention industry in general respond to the Women of Loss Prevention survey? Who is responsible for moving the conversation forward? How should the discussion move forward? What action if any should be taken? Information provides a vehicle for change, but it's still up to us to take the wheel. In part two of our conversation about the women of LP scheduled for the July– August issue of LP Magazine, we'll share the thoughts, perspectives, ideas, insights, and suggestions from leaders—both female and male—across the loss prevention industry. JACQUE BRITTAIN, LPC, is editorial director for LP Magazine. Prior to joining the magazine, he was director of learning design and certification for Learn It Solutions, where he helped coordinate and write the online coursework for the Loss Prevention Foundation's LPC and LPQ certifications. Earlier in his career, Brittain was vice president of operations for one of the largest executive recruiting firms in the LP industry. He can be reached at JacB@LPportal.com. Most felt that LP will remain a good career path for women, underscoring the evolving nature of the industry, the prospects for continuing growth and development, learning, and problem-solving to meet the evolving changes and challenges of the retail business, and bringing new and diverse perspectives to the industry as a whole. 22 MAY–JUNE 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM WOMEN OF LOSS PREVENTION

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