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The Surge of Female Bodyguards
“In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger
by Virginie Roux, Head of Marketing
In an industry that is dominated nearly exclusively by men, the demand for female bodyguard services is on the rise, opening new doors to women who want to take up on a new challenge. Indeed, more and more celebrities and dignitaries use the services of women Bodyguards, such as the like of the former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, stars like Beyoncé and of course in the Royalty Protection of the Duchess of Cambridge.
China is the prime example of this new tendency. With a flourishing economy, the country gathers a very high concentration of High Net-Worth Individuals, who opt for female operatives for their security to keep a low profile.
One of our female Bodyguards, Polly Wilton, who was recently featured by the Daily Mail in the UK in the article: How does a bodyguard keep fit?, considers that: “being a female has its advantages. There aren’t many female operators within the industry and well-trained female operators can become quite niche and sought after”. With unique abilities, women are given a privileged position in this industry, demonstrating that they are more than competent for the job at hand.
So, what makes female Bodyguards stand out from their male counterparts?
1. A More Covert Option
A good example of the deployment of Women in Executive Protection is in a Protective Surveillance role or where low-key, covert is the best operational option.
A 7-foot tall burly male Bodyguard that stays in constant close proximity of his principal, will often draw unwanted attention of the public on the person they are protecting, putting their client at further risk.
Many celebrities that you see in the media are protected by big and burly operatives, because the client thinks that their imposing stature is intimidating and will keep potential attackers at a distance. But in many cases, this does the exact opposite!
In contrast, women Bodyguards can blend in the principal’s entourage and be mistaken for a personal assistant, or a friend, which is a more discreet option and ensures that the client stays unnoticed. As a result, when it comes to size or look, a woman Bodyguard doesn’t need to look imposing and “as hard as nails”, she should simply just look like the girl next door.
On the ground, brain power is more important than muscle power; operatives must think on their feet to make dynamic, strategic decisions to prevent a situation from happening. This prevails on their appearance!
Additionally, female Bodyguards are also a better fit for families, as young children are less intimidated by the presence of a woman. They can easily pass for the children’s nanny or mother, when doing the school run or taking them to a park, which minimises the risk of getting unwanted attention.
2. Omnipresent Protection
One of the main advantages of using a female Bodyguard is that if the principal is a woman, protection doesn’t stop at the door of the ladies’ room!
Thus, certain places can prove to be a stumbling block to Close Protection, as male Bodyguards cannot follow ladies clients to certain locations that only allows persons of the same sex, including dressing rooms and hotel suites. This could affect the level of security that should be provided, as the principal and his Bodyguard would be separated in two separate rooms. Even if it’s a matter of minutes, this could have a major impact on the principal's safety!
On the other hand, it is also a less obstructive solution, as principals can get on with their daily life as normal, while they are being accompanied.
3. Female Propriety
For cultural and religion reasons, Middle Eastern families often prefer to employ female Bodyguards to escort their wives and daughters, as the presence of a man would not comply with propriety rules.
Other individuals may not find appropriate to have a man in close proximity of their wives at all times. Stories like those of Princess Diana with Barry Mannakee, or Daniel Ducret with the Princess of Monaco set a bad precedence and have a lot to answer for!
“Girl power takes a new turn on the Circuit”
4. Unique Qualities that Women Possess
Women bodyguards have certain qualities that set them apart, or can provide additional value to a Close Protection team, when men and women are working together on the same task. Their softer skills prove to be an asset in managing conflicts, with less chances that confrontations will turn violent.
Besides, their attention to details and organisational skills are some of the key skills they possess that ensures safe planning and that the job can run smoothly.
Female Bodyguards it must be said also have a better handle on Etiquette for Bodyguards, with the softer skills shining through.
Sadly, the number of women that work in the Executive Protection industry is limited and make up an estimated 5-10% at the very most. Females leaving the Armed Forces or Police should consider a career as a female Bodyguard because good female operatives are rarely out of work!
At Intelligent Protection International Limited, we provide qualified female Bodyguards around the globe, all highly-experienced in Close Protection. A lot of our female operatives also speak several languages to facilitate contact in the country, when you are travelling. See our female bodyguard service page for more details.
So, if you have any requirements for the service of a female Bodyguard, please contact us now.