PSA’s Candice Aragon: Attracting Diverse Talent, Growing the Industry
“The security industry is embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, celebrating female talent and creating more opportunities.”
Secure Perspectives is a monthly column by the Security Industry Association (SIA) profiling women in the security industry. The column is part of SIA’s Women in Security Forum (WISF), an initiative to support the participation of women in the security field through programs, networking and professional growth events and thought-leadership opportunities.
This month, we profile Candice Aragon, vice president of marketing and education at PSA.
How did you get into the security industry?
Candice Aragon: I started in the security industry by chance in 2019 when Ric McCullough and Bill Bozeman hired me at PSA Network. I loved the job description, the team I would be managing and certain facets of PSA, but didn’t know very much about the industry. It’s been amazing learning about security over time. I am thrilled I landed here!
What is your current position?
Aragon: Vice president of marketing and education. I oversee the marketing, education and events teams for PSA and Edge as well as run a marketing agency for our members.
How does your organization serve the industry?
Aragon: Our vision at PSA is to be the rising tide. We are the world’s largest systems integrator consortium made up of the most progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators. Combined, PSA members boast over 500 branch locations, employ over 13,500 industry professionals and are responsible for over $4.5 billion annually in security, fire, life safety and pro audio-visual installations. Our mission is to elevate the industries we serve by providing owners and members exceptional education, networking, services and connections with technology partners.
What types of job functions do women fill in your company? Is there diversity of roles?
Aragon: Sixty-five percent of PSA employees are female. While our entire marketing team is female and our accounting team is predominantly female as well, we have a great distribution throughout the company. There are excellent opportunities for women throughout our organization.
What opportunities do you see for women in the security industry?
Aragon: The future is female for security…and most industries. With women graduating college at higher rates than men, as well as the rise of women in the work force in general, it’s inevitable that security will see an influx of women in its ranks. Likewise, with many baby boomers retiring (predominantly male), this creates more opportunities across the board. The security industry is embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, celebrating female talent and creating more opportunities. In the four years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve seen more women climbing into leadership roles, panels at conferences featuring more female speakers, etc.
What impediments do you see for achieving this? What could remedy these?
Aragon: Representation is important. People need to see others who are like them to understand what they can achieve. Many industry events, media, etc., still heavily feature men. We have been working hard at PSA to ensure our events feature more diverse speakers. Ultimately, it comes down to recruiting in more diverse ways, showcasing female talent and providing more training and development to attract female talent to the industry.
What do you see as important trends in the industry?
Aragon: I’m most excited about the soft-skills development and feel it will help our industry continue to grow and attract diverse talent. I attend many industry events and am pleased to see sessions about authenticity, accountability, personal brand, emotional intelligence, robust employee onboarding, etc. These topics are extremely important to younger generations in the workforce.
What trends are you seeing in PSA’s space working with systems integrators?
Aragon: We are seeing managed services models really take off with PSA integrators. While many of our integrators have been dabbling in “as a service” for some time now, the bulk of our membership is becoming much more sophisticated in the area. We’ve partnered with Vector Firm to offer a program to our members for a “soup to nuts” approach, and many are taking advantage and seeing tremendous success from the program.
What are the biggest opportunities your company is seeing?
Aragon: We’re focusing heavily on workforce development and providing resources to our integrators. We launched PSA University, a learning management system, at the beginning of 2023 and will continue to grow this resource. We are partnering with leading education providers in the industry and beyond as well as developing career paths for multiple job functions in the security industry. A large portion of the workforce is retiring, and we need to offer resources to the new talent that is coming on to close the knowledge gap.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!
Security Is Our Business, Too
For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.
A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!
Leave a Reply