Canadian Security Magazine

ASIS Toronto Women in Security: Work-life balance

Neil Sutton   

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The Toronto chapter of ASIS International recently held its annual Women in Security event, this year spotlighting work-life balance issues and setting career goals.

Tannis Weinstein, president and country manager for ASSA ABLOY Canada (the company also sponsored the event), has had to create scheduling workarounds in order to spend quality time with her husband and children while still meeting the major demands of running an organization. And all this while essentially living in two different countries.
Weinstein and her family are based in New Jersey, but she travels for three weeks a month to Canada and overseas to meet job requirements. With such a hectic schedule, having a supportive family, says Weinstein, as well as helping hands from friends and other school parents becomes essential. “It takes a village,” said Weinstein, coining a popular phrase. Facebook Live and Facetime are also invaluable tools for family time when face-to-face isn’t always an option.
Weinstein said her current role at ASSA ABLOY is her “dream job” and that her employer is supportive and appreciates the complexities of family life.
Weinstein also spoke of the importance of networking in order to achieve career goals — something that doesn’t come easily to many women, she said. “First you have to decide what you want to do,” she said. “Then you have to get over yourself and ask.”
Weinstein said that women have achieved a lot in the corporate security workforce, but there is clearly still a long way to go.
The day’s second speaker, Lisa Carpenter, TD’s AVP Canada for fraud operations, financial crimes & fraud management group, advocates cultivating multiple interests in order to be an effective manager and parent. A single mother, Carpenter spends lots of time with her daughter, travelling with her on vacation or to softball tournaments. She also sets aside vacation time for herself and spends regular time in the gym and pool. Sundays are reserved for watching football. Allowing time for oneself or one’s activities in an essential part of building a life and a career, she said.
Carpenter has worked for three major banking organizations in her career, setting goals for herself, diversifying her skillset, and adapting to change. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone, she advised, and embrace new challenges. Look for mentors who can guide you, as well as sponsors and champions who can be your advocate and recognize your accomplishments.
ASIS Toronto also held its AGM after the presentations. A new executive will be installed after an election is conducted online — a first for the chapter.

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