Four Reasons Why Clients Sometimes Prefer Female Executive Protection Officers
Is the woman that just exited the restaurant with a well-known business executive a personal friend, the children’s nanny, or an administrative assistant? You might be surprised to learn that many females in the company of businessmen and VIPs are executive protection agents. While the security industry is overwhelmingly a male-dominated profession, in recent years, female executive protection officers have found themselves in high demand. Here are four reasons why clients sometimes request female close protection professionals.
1. Female bodyguards attract less attention.
Although female bodyguards often cannot match their male counterparts’ physical size, that’s not always necessary to get the job done. Ensuring an individual and their family’s safety requires the ability to evaluate and mitigate risk quickly. And while a male bodyguard of above average height and a muscular physique possesses the physical ability to ward off an attacker, in certain circumstances, their presence attracts attention, making it exponentially more difficult to enforce a protective cordon.
2. Female bodyguards approach the demands of the profession differently.
Where a male can rely on physical strength and size to intimidate a would-be attacker, such an approach invites confrontation with the potential to embarrass or injure a protectee. In fact, an attacker may decide to employ violence first in order to overcome a male’s physical size and strength. Female agents, on the other hand, don’t present an immediate physical threat and may convince attackers not to use the same level of violence as they would when faced with a male bodyguard. Consequently, the lack of violence at least initially provides a female agent with the time she needs to defuse a volatile situation.
3. Religious and cultural preferences call for female versus male close protection.
Certain cultures and religions prefer that females do not spend time with males from outside of their family. With that in mind, some clients prefer to replace a male close protection agent with a female. Children may react better to a female agent as well. Male agents, especially those with children of their own, often establish strong connections to the children under their care. However, that relationship may take time to form. Alternatively, the children may find themselves drawn to a female agent, especially if they’re already under the care of a nanny.
4. Female agents change a protective team’s dynamics.
When a protective detail adds a female agent to the roster, the group dynamic changes. A male-dominated team tends to foster a more aggressive culture, and while that approach fits with many situations, it also increases the potential for an overly forceful response to a relatively routine problem.
While muscles and brute strength solve many problems, protecting executives and VIPs calls for diplomacy and tact in significant measures. Despite the fact that female agents do not fit the stereotypical bodyguard mold, they possess many of the other skills of their male colleagues. In addition to applying many of the tools and tactics used by male close protection professionals, females remain hidden in plain sight and remain just as effective in their ability to protect those under their care. And since female agents don’t stand out to the same degree as males, an attacker may not notice them until they find themselves facing a highly trained woman agent, determined to utilize all of her training and experience to protect those in her charge.