SECURE Perspectives: Dayanna Nunez, Human Resources Director, i-PRO Americas Inc.

i-PRO HR director Dayanna Nunez urges women to stand up and be heard in the latest edition of Secure Perspectives spotlight.

SECURE Perspectives is a column by the Security Industry Association (SIA) profiling women in the security industry. This 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.

For this edition of SECURE Perspectives, SIA spoke with Dayanna Nunez, human resources director at i-PRO Americas Inc. In the spring of 2023, she was recognized as a 2023 SIA WISF Power 100 honoree – selected as one of 100 exceptional women in security who are raising the bar, changing expectations and breaking barriers.

SIA: How did you get into the security industry?

Dayanna Nunez: I was contacted by a recruiter for i-PRO, which at the time was Panasonic i-PRO Sensing Solutions. I did not know anything about the security industry prior to this!

SIA: How does your organization serve the industry?

DN: Our line of business includes development, manufacture and sales of devices and modules for the security, medicine and industrial fields. We provide solutions including system integration, construction, maintenance and related services.

SIA: What is your current position at i-PRO Americas?

DN: I serve as HR director for the Americas region.

SIA: What types of job functions do women fill in your company? Is there diversity of roles in your company, or do women gravitate toward certain job functions?

DN: The HR department and customer service department are all filled by women. Other women are found in other departments as well, including marketing, finance and sales, but they are more spread out throughout the organization in other functions.

SIA: With more and more data that shows diversity makes a better workforce, what opportunities do you see for women in the security industry?

DN: I believe that there is just as much opportunity for women in the security industry just like any other industry. We just have to continue to show that there are many roles they can go to, and that no role is targeted just for men. I believe with time, we will be able to have normal industry numbers for women in the workplace.

SIA: What impediments do you see for achieving this? What could remedy some of these impediments?

DN: We have to do a better job in promoting all the benefits of working in our industry and be louder about it. We also have to get rid of unconscious biases that may still be around due to the nature of the industry. More education around unconscious bias, implicit bias and microaggression, as well as implementing strategies to combat this, is a first step.

SIA: What do you see as important trends in the industry?

DN: More companies are prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, which means they are being more purposeful in their activities and strategies. This will in turn start to change the diversity in the workplace.

SIA: More specifically, what trends are you seeing in your role in HR leadership for i-PRO?

DN: I am really excited about what we are doing around diversity, because for us, diversity is not just gender, but diversity in industries, backgrounds, generations, etc. Last year we started a D&I Steering Committee in each global region, and we focus on activities that drive change across the company.

In the U.S., we looked at our policies and updated our parental leave policy effective early 2023. We went from two weeks of parental leave (women could take short-term disability) and updated it to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all genders!

We also went above that and are allowing parental leave to be taken up to a year after birth of a child to allow for flexibility in child care. This change has allowed us to better attract younger professionals who are considering starting families soon.

In addition, we keep pushing our hiring managers to think outside the box and look at their departments deeper when it comes to recruiting. What do they really need? Do they need someone from the industry that is so seasoned, or do they already have technical experts in the team but lack other soft skills that are harder to teach?

Our recruiting strategy has been developing greatly, and that has allowed us to find a diverse and talented pool of candidates!

SIA: What are the top challenges your company has faced in the last year?

DN: Most of us are feeling the effects of the economy, and it is sometimes difficult to find people who want to leave their current roles not sure what is going to happen in the future. We are also still feeling the effects of a hot job market that raised compensation expectations tremendously during the pandemic.

SIA: What are the biggest opportunities your company – and the industry – are seeing?

DN: There are still a lot of opportunities for us to help build a safer world. I look forward to tapping into new features in our company that help us build a safer and more peaceful world.

SIA: What do you hope the SIA Women in Security Forum can achieve for the security industry?

DN: I believe that when women feel the support from others and have resources available to them, they feel more confident and are successful in their careers. I hope that SIA Women in Security Forum continues to do this for women – to give them the support and resources needed for success in this industry.

SIA: What is your best advice for women in the industry?

DN: Do not be intimidated by being the only woman in the room. Take this as an opportunity to impress, change biases and drive change.

SIA: Who or what was the strongest influence in your career?

DN: I come from a family where the women are very strong-willed and overcome all obstacles. Watching my mom thrive in difficult situations and mentoring me along the way since I was little really shaped me. I had to grow up very quickly due to life circumstances, but she made sure to explain the whys and possible solutions so I knew there was always another way to do things.

She always pushed me to be better and do better and would really encourage me to make my own decisions and not follow the status quo. She taught me that it was a good thing if I was the only woman or woman of color or the youngest person in the room.

SIA: How do you define success?

DN: Success to me is achieving your goals and being happy with the result. For me, I think I am successful because I have set short-term and long-term goals both personally and professionally and have been able to achieve every single one.

SIA: What would you say to new upcoming women in the industry?

DN: It is very important to take advantage of resources available to you – that could be trainings, networking opportunities, employee resource groups, participating in events, joining SIA, etc.

The more visible you are, the more you will have opportunities to learn because people will see that you want to be involved. Learn from other women by getting a mentor so you can learn their struggles and how they have overcome them.

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