I know many of you, like me, have been glued to the TV on Sunday nights watching ‘The Bodyguard’. This BBC article caught my eye as it profiles the UK’s first female bodyguard, Jacquie Davis, and challenges some of the myths around brains versus brawn – it’s more about planning ahead and risk assessment than hurling your body weight about in this role. Surprisingly, thirty years on, only one in 10 bodyguards in the UK are women.
With many jobs still heavily skewed towards attracting men or women, such as nursing and engineering, what further steps can employers make to attract a broader candidate pool or is it really down to ingrained cultural perceptions that will take generations to change?
Surely the easiest way to start addressing this is through advocacy and the power of your own employees’ networks.
Jacquie Davis, who says she was the first woman to become a bodyguard in the UK, has protected royals and celebrities, rescued hostages and carried out undercover surveillance in her 30 years in the industry. Now her own life has inspired a Netflix thriller starring Noomi Rapace. "When I came into the industry it was a very he-man attitude," says Jacquie. "They just always wanted me to look after the female principal or the children which was ironic - as most of them were fathers and I wasn't even a mother!"