Debbie Foy

Briefly explain your role

My role is to develop and expand a strong sustainable sales pipeline whilst also achieving the team’s annual set target. I am also responsible for updating the company’s CRM system, along with keeping up to date with the security industry and legislation changes, and working closely with the operations team on proposal and costing documentation.

 

What do you love about your job?

I have been in sales for over 35yrs, and in the security industry for 30. Being in sales you must be very patient and proactive, I love the chase and the buzz when winning new contracts or retaining contracts and making a difference to the client’s site security as a result. I enjoy working with my colleagues in the extended and wider business teams at KST, it’s a great relief I can call upon their expertise, to team up with them and to collate a full security solution.

How does KST empower you in your role?

KST have given me all the tools and allow me to work autonomously. The Business Director is always there for support and guidance. I also have a strong professional team of Operation Managers behind me, one of whom is female. I can honestly say that all my team in Security Personnel support me, I love the banter and we have great team morale.

What made you move in to the security sector?

Whilst working in a national FM company in the cleaning and washroom division, I was headhunted by two of the other Business Directors – Pest Control and Security. I didn’t fancy either, however on the interview for pest control I was asked if I could handle working with spiders / mice to which they took a box of live spiders out on the table. I made my mind up
instantly and joined security. The RD wanted more females, however I hated the security industry in the first year; the sales process and timescales for decision making was very different. I nearly gave up! But my hard work and patience paid off – I was soon smashing targets.…
I am still in touch with my first Regional Director, he in his 80s now and I am very grateful for his trust in women all those years ago.

Has there been any significant barriers to progression in your career within the security profession?

Due to my experience working with large corporations, I found that you tend to progress if you liked working down in London (within the city), those that did would have an advantage with more support and leads.
I did feel I was at a disadvantage being a female single mum living up North, the out of hours networking was difficult for me to attend during the working week. However, it did not affect my success or motivation, I worked harder and smarter and over the years I have worked with
more and more females joining the industry and progressing.

How does KST help support your sense of purpose in your career?

From my very first day at KST and the professional, informative induction, I have felt I have a real sense of purpose within the team. I have also received so much support – all the tools I need from my line manager and from the extended KST teams such as the Bid Team,
Marketing, and other KST sales divisions.

 

What’s your most memorable moment in your career so far?

Many years ago, I had the worst year of my life personally. However, I stuck with it and carried on as a single mum working full time in a male dominated company. It was my 2nd year in the security industry, I was the only female in the team, in the first year I had watched different
male colleagues collect awards, I was determined to win the following year. I worked hard, and I did it! The first to be awarded for all the categories.

What opportunities does the security profession offer?

Over 30 years I have watched the industry grow and change, the majority were male employees at the beginning, but over the past few years it is changing for the better. More females are now in senior management roles such as Operations Directors, Sales Directors, Operation Managers, and front-line female Security Officers. There are so many prospective
roles to pursue.

What would you say to any women who have reservations about how male-dominated the industry is, in order to put their minds at ease?

I would encourage any female, no matter what level or rank they are, from a Security Officer on the front line to a Director, to not let the stereotype or image prevent them from progressing their career in security. It is rewarding to hear more clients are requesting for both men and women on their sites. As women often have better communication skills, they can defuse a situation and can offer a better and more level-headed approach. The security industry needs more women, they are an incredible asset!

How do you balance work and home responsibilities

Any job can be stressful, I have had to multitask to ensure things do get done. Having a work/ life balance is important, I believe women can cope with working from home too, and have good organisational skills. Juggling is second nature to women. If I am working on a tight deadline, I will work around what is a priority and what needs to be done. I will work late or over the weekend, but I make sure I have organised everything! KST are very keen to support the wellbeing of all colleagues.
As a woman planning is key: ‘fail to plan – plan to fail’.

Sign off your employee story with anything else you would like to add:

Since joining KST I have a different opinion to working within another security company. KST encourages and supports employee’s work / life balance, their working arrangements in place and support makes it much easier. I am allowed to get on with my job, I am the only person who pressurises myself. The support and help I have received has allowed me to settle in and grow the business. I am proud to be a part of a very successful team