Holly Lagsdin, vice president of sales for GE Infrastructure, Security, International Fiber Systems, is coordinating Women in Security Electronics (WISE). Photo courtesy of WISE
“There are women in this industry doing great things, yet for the most part, we don’t know one another,” declared Holly Lagsdin, vice president of sales for GE Infrastructure, Security, International Fiber Systems. “We are missing a great opportunity to support and learn from each other.”

It is for this reason that Women in Security Electronics (WISE) has been established. It is a non-profit professional networking organization serving the North American security electronics market. Membership is open to men and women from all segments of the industry who are committed to recruiting and retaining top-talented women in the security industry.

“Don’t let the name of our organization fool you,” added Jennifer Walczak, membership chair and executive vice president of Dedicated Micros. “We encourage men in the industry to become members, too. They play a big part in our success because they appreciate the important contributions women in the security industry have made over the years.”

WISE is focused on assisting women by providing professional development, mentoring, networking and greater industry exposure. WISE plans to encourage the development and training of higher-caliber, talented women from which industry companies can hire. WISE also will recognize and acknowledge companies that are successfully promoting women.

According to Lagsdin, there should be no conflict of interest even though members may come from competing companies across the industry. “WISE is committed to ethical business practices,” she pointed out.

“We require each member to sign an affidavit stating that, ‘No member shall at anytime ask nor share information pertaining to a customer, specific project, product pricing, or any other information deemed company confidential,’” Lagsdin emphasized. “Violation of this agreement will result in an immediate termination of membership.”

Women from all segments of the marketplace including major manufacturing corporations, associations, the media and integration companies already are WISE members.

WISE is hosting its first networking event on April 5 in conjunction with the ISC West show in Las Vegas. “We are very excited to be officially launching WISE and meeting one another,” noted Carole Dougan, events chair and manager of national accounts for Pelco. “Everyone is invited to participate and learn more about WISE’s plans.”

WISE is a volunteer-based organization governed by an executive steering committee and four volunteer committees for membership, events, communications and legal matters.

It is committed to serving the security electronics industry with training, mentoring and networking opportunities focused on increasing the exposure of women in the industry.

Prospective members and sponsoring companies can learn more about the benefits of membership, upcoming events and sponsorship levels by visiting the Web site at www.womeninsecurityelectronics.com.