The Master of the year of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP) is Barrie Stewart and his consort is Pauline Stewart his wife. Our regular contributor Una Riley meets Pauline, pictured, a powerhouse in her own right.
She is making a huge difference in the way the WCoSP will be viewed now and in time to come. Pauline will launch a commemorative film about the WCoSP at the ‘Women in Security’ Ladies Livery Lunch event on Thursday, January 22 at the splendid Vintners’ Hall in London. She is calling for all Women in Security (WiS) to attend and meet members and Liverymen of the WCoSP. The invited speaker is Lieutenant Colonel Clare Waterworth MBE, LLB, MA, Commanding Officer of the Special Investigation Branch, Royal Military Police. There will also be a presentation of ‘what it’s like working as a woman in security’ and networking with a difference presented by ‘networking architect’ Heather White. Court Assistant Sue Seaby will also talk about the benefits of being a member of the WCoSP as a woman in security. It sounds like a great opportunity to meet the Master and members of Court over a glass of champagne.
Pauline is the CEO and founder of Insirati, a company that works within organisations delivering visionary leadership programmes. The aim is to stimulate new thinking that creates energy and vision to do things differently. Pauline believes that she and her colleagues make a meaningful difference to people and their organisations. Their client list is impressive having worked in both public and private sectors. They include the Department for Education, Microsoft, Ebay-PayPal, Kier, RBS, NHS, the University of Bedfordshire, Royal Mail, BT and DHL to name but a few. Pauline is an experienced mentor and coach she also has former experience serving in the police so she is no stranger to the wider world of security. When I recently caught up with her we had lots to chat about especially regarding the WCoSP. I think the film she and the Master are leaving as a legacy to the Company is a great idea and I can’t wait to see it. We began chatting about Pauline’s involvement in the world of security as I had noticed that security is featured on her website. Pauline said: “The work that I focus on is the security of women in areas of forced marriage, trafficking etc. This work is something I do voluntarily as a Soroptimist. I belong to the longest running women’s group in the world, Soroptimist International, a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls.” We chatted about that at length then moved on from voluntary work to the world of security. I wanted to know more about how Pauline had fared being a woman in business, so that I could compare to how it was 30 years ago, when I started. She said: “In fairness I have not done too badly and when I have faced a rocky road I have found that it can sometimes be other women in organisations who are not supportive. That said there are phenomenal groups of women out there who are like minded and absolutely supportive of women in business and are great at signposting or connecting individuals. There are amazing, strong and inspiring individuals, both men and women alike, who I have been fortunate to connect with and being a strong individual in my own right I have enjoyed setting up and building a business that I still get excited about daily. My business and I go together just like a hand in a glove.” Just speaking with Pauline that becomes quickly evident. I asked her as a woman in security if she was a member of the WCoSP in her own right.
Pauline replied: “Not yet, however I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting my husband as the ‘first lady’ and being an ambassador when attending livery functions.” Pauline went on to explain that during her year she had elected to be referred to as ‘first lady’ rather than the usual title of consort. She added: “As a JP, and as an ex-special constable with Bedfordshire Police I am giving careful consideration regarding membership.” I then asked how her year was going. Pauline replied: “It is just awesome. And what a privilege to be invited to amazing events at Grand Halls, steeped in history and splendour. Ironbridge, where a variety of Masters and Consorts represent their Livery Companies yearly was a great way to start our journey meeting other Masters and consorts who attend many of the same functions throughout their term of office. We have made new and wonderful friends. At Ironbridge I was nominated by two female consorts as the Secretary for the year group, which is known as the Past Masters and Consorts Association and our name ‘1 4 All’ represents the year. This year we have attended royal garden parties, dined with Masters and Sheriffs and one of the most exciting events was the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Ball. The Guild Hall hosted 500 guests, including members from the Livery piped into dinner by the London Scottish Regiment. The ball raised just under £100,000 supporting the Lord Mayors Appeal 2014. The atmosphere was electric.”
There is no doubt that the friends and memories that are built up during the year as Master and Consort, or First Lady in Pauline’s case, are indeed treasures for life. Pauline then added: “My vision for the future is to build on all my good work to date. I have overcome barriers and challenges and as a result of life experiences I find myself continuing on a fabulous and inspirational journey. I have met people from all walks of life and find I have an authentic and powerful style which in my business appears to be a catalyst to help people think differently and for themselves, enabling others to succeed. I hope to live and work in New York for a year, possibly longer promoting the leadership that comes from within to work with individuals where trust, integrity and credibility are second nature. I have earned a reputation with clients both in a paid and voluntary capacity as being an individual that is unique. Most would say they have been ‘Paulined’!! I hope in the future to either set up or work with people building an Eldership Academy (EA), where we can showcase entrepreneurs and those that have overcome barriers and challenges to reach their goals and help others to do the same – eldership beyond leadership. I want to create a strong leadership ethos within the EA – people working and drawn together due to their positive attitude, competencies, respect for others and love of life.”
With all this enthusiasm and the fact that Pauline is considering joining the WCoSP in her own right my question was; would she consider becoming Master of the WCoSP one day? Pauline replied: “Yes I would. If the fit was right, and I believe that I would be able on behalf of ‘a company’ to make a good host, lead with integrity, be a sound ambassador, add value by nurturing relationships, and give quality time to the Livery and the City, then and only then, would I work towards a very exciting goal.” With that I asked what are her ambitions for the WCoSP. Pauline replied: “As the ‘first lady’, I would like to think that my support for the Company within my husband’s term of office will build on the good reputation of the Company. I take every opportunity to sing the praises of our members and Liverymen and early next year I am hosting the Companies Ladies Livery Lunch. The focus will be on ‘Women in Security’ and I hope to showcase the Company and introduce the Livery to potential new women members, those who specialise in security and hadn’t realised they could join the Livery, which can be deemed male dominated. The Company is working hard to recruit female members so as my background focuses on working with women in various organisations it seemed fitting for me to support the Court and their initiatives. I have identified a female keynote speaker who has served two tours of Afghanistan, a wife and mother and holds a senior position within SIB. We are in for quite a motivating lunch and a real treat as my dear friend Heather White is running a fab networking session for me. That’s what women really supporting each other looks like. Heather was invited to the event as my friend and then I saw an opportunity for our lady guests. A good friend, an expert in her own right, a female supporting females, Heather did not hesitate to support me. I was also fortunate to secure a sponsor, a member of the Company, who has enabled me to commission a small film and video which will be a backdrop for the Company and a legacy that my husband and I will leave behind us. It will be a promotional film that will give a snapshot of the history and the future vision for the company.” If Pauline did become Master and her husband (the current Master) became her consort … that would be another historical footprint they would be making. It sounds like it is worth making a film about.
For more about the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, visit www.wcosp.com.