Celebrating Women In Security - Susan King

Susan King, Security Manager at Parkway Shopping Centre (Newbury), takes everything in her stride and shows a willingness to think outside the box. She is constantly looking for challenges.

Sue took over from an experienced security manager and quickly inherited a number of conflicts within the team. She quickly won over everyone and even added herself on a rota, including regular night shifts, so that she can work alongside each team member, leading to a better understanding of individuals and their needs. Our customer at Parkway Shopping Centre (Newbury) sums it up with “Sue is newly appointed as a manager and fairly new to security. The fresh approach she brings to security has propelled the team to be forward-thinking and customer focussed. The retailers are delighted with the way she understands their pressures and struggles, and her experience of retail combined with her security training is invaluable. She has also brought with her the willingness and encouragement to develop the existing team and teach them how to serve the public and retailers in a less regimented way. The additional challenges of 2020 have resolved with patience and understanding; something, I don’t believe, a more experienced ‘Security trained’ manager could have done.”

Set up a social media group for all the shops when the lockdown was announced.

Sue formed a WhatsApp group and enrolled the shop managers. It was initially set up so that retailers could communicate with each other, the security team, and the client about any of their concerns as well as developments or changes. However, it has since grown beyond the initial 47 users and the Centre marketing team now use it for promotions.

Improve the physical and mental wellbeing of everyone who works on Parkway.

Sue compiled a survey for the staff to complete. The top complaints were: 64% complained of sore feet and muscles; 59% found work stressful; 50% were lacking in food choices. Sue set about finding remedies, including a full health assessment and individual improvement advice. Mental health and fitness programmes have been implemented, as well as a change of shift patterns and new footwear, including “breathable” safety trainers for summer. There is also now a fridge-freezer promoting healthy lunches and subsidised gym membership.

Sue also has the team recycling waste and producing eco-bricks and is currently transforming an abandoned area into a garden for staff breaks.

Sue is also undertaking a Facilities Management course.

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