Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in protective services will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Protective services and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated protective services field.
Career Options for Women -- Protective Services:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in protective services:
- Capt. Jamie Speiser, a Griffon helicopter pilot who has flown missions in Bosnia and Haiti
- Sylvie Nault, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable
- Shauna Vollmer, a fire protection designer working for a large fire prevention contractor
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Protective Services video:
Jamie: Helicopter Pilot
Jamie Speiser is a captain in the Air Force. She joined the military because she wanted the opportunity to help others, primarily through peacekeeping efforts and now flies Griffon helicopters and serves as an information systems officer and squadron harassment officer. As a helicopter pilot, her main role is to support the army. The army has mission requests - including troop and cargo transport, reconnaissance, command and liaison (liaison between units), and medical evacuations. Missions can be tactical (into enemy territory) but are mostly utility missions (administrative - peace-time work). Jamie has flown assistance on the Saguenay floods and Ice Storm ‘98. She has also been to Bosnia and Haiti.
Jamie went to the Royal Military College in Kingston and acquired a Bachelors degree in computer engineering in 1994. After university, she took pilot training at Shearwater, Nova Scotia and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, flying small jets and then helicopters. Jamie received her wings in Portage La Prairie in 1996. Jamie has often wondered why there aren't more women in the military. Her theory is that women generally aren't aware that the military is open to them. She believes that the military is a great career for those who seek challenges, travel, adventure, and a way to test personal limits. The military may seem intimidating to women, but to Jamie, it seemed exciting. She admits it requires hard work but you get a free education and are paid while you go to school!
If Jamie switched to a civilian life, she could become an engineer. As an officer, she has also acquired managerial skills that could be applied in the private sector. As a pilot though, she would have a pay drop in civilian life, and then have to work her way up again. The career potential is also unlimited.
Sylvie: Police Constable
Sylvie Nault is a general duty constable for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). She responds to 911 and service calls from the public. Constables do pretty much anything - from dealing with barking dogs to armed robberies.
After graduating from high school, Sylvie went to college. She is only a few courses short of degrees in Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Criminology. While the RCMP only requires prospective recruits to have only a high school diploma, a post-secondary schooling would help your chances of being recruited. There are a number of rewards with this job. Sylvie says, “I would have to honestly say when you bring someone to justice…it’s cliché, but it's hoping that you've made a difference. Plus, in the job, you have a lot of freedom…you're part of a team but you still work independently.”
The number of women in the force is increasing rapidly. For example, the next five recruits that will be arriving in Sylvie's detachment are all women. RCMP start off as constables and then go to Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, and then Inspector. Many officers that leave the force become investigators or security advisors in the private sector.
“I would encourage anyone who wants to do this. It is challenging and nontraditional. You should stay fit and stay focused on your goals.”
Shauna: Fire Protection Designer
Shauna Vollmer is a fire protection designer for Vipond Fire Protection. Shauna's interest in fire protection was first sparked when three kids from her community were injured in a fire. Today, Shauna designs protection systems for structures ranging from small apartment buildings to large industrial complexes. What continues to motivate her is a burning desire to ensure that no-one suffers from the devastating effects of a fire.
She is presently a Service Manager, and her job entails providing a large customer base with emergency service, inspections, maintenance and alterations to their fire protection systems as per their individual needs. She schedules crews of technicians and provides both the technicians and customers with technical fire code support.
Shauna took a two-year diploma program in Engineering Design and Drafting Technology at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Fifteen percent of the students were women in her program.
In Shauna's job, the work is very fast paced with a high volume of jobs ongoing at any given time. There are no breaks between jobs and therefore no time to reorganize, clean up paperwork or take a breather before the next project starts. She is also on call with a pager and cell phone 24 hours a day -- and that takes some getting used to at first. Although her fire protection skills are pretty specific and possibly limiting, Shauna still believes that there are other opportunities in research, consulting and education (both technical and public). She also knows that she always has her design and computer drafting skills to fall back on that could lead her into other types of work in the future.
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University