Women in Security: Rose Sabourin of CMS

Sabourin reflects on how the landscape of security has changed over her past 24 years
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

LONGWOOD, Fla.—In early November, Rose Sabourin marked 24 years with CMS, the wholesale monitoring center based here.

Sabourin is currently the operations support manager. “That basically covers anything and everything to do with our business, and our monitoring platform, and any of the tools that we offer our dealers,” she said. She has been in this role for 10 years and has about six people report to her.

When Sabourin joined CMS, she didn’t know much about the security industry. “Pretty much, everything that I’ve learned in the 24 years, I’ve learned through experience, with just working through different things, starting with the billing department and learning things from the back-end … at least from a monitoring station perspective,” she said. “What really took off for me was when we were upgrading our monitoring platform software. I took a major role in that process and, by being able to learn the ins and outs and how everything worked, it [helped] me move into the position that I’m in now.”

Sabourin said she’s seen an increase in women in the security industry over her career. “When I first started, the percentage of women was more in the 5 to 10 percent [range],” she estimated. “Now, after 24 years, with the majority of the people I work with, I would see it going up to the 15- to 20 percent [range]. I think that’s huge, just from the different types of women that I’m talking to and what their roles are.”

Sabourin noted that the women in executive roles in security have often been recognized and promoted from within their companies. “Our industry seems to be very secluded to the outside world. If we’re not in the industry, it’s really hard to know about it,” she said. 

Higher awareness of the industry as a career path is one thing that could help bring more women into the industry, according to Sabourin, particularly around the idea that “Security is a business out there that women should not be afraid to be involved in.” There is a good mix of men and women working as operators, she noted, adding that there are also other opportunities in the industry.

Technology has changed a lot since Sabourin started in the industry. “I remember, when I started 24 years ago, the software applications were so much more simplified. Nowadays, every day they come out with new applications,” she said.

Sabourin identified artificial intelligence as one trend that will take hold in the future. “We’ve had AI for some time, but I truly think that’s where more and more of the security features are going to head toward.” She added that AI is useful in monitoring center environments such as with recognizing false alarms.