Haley Glover: A Tale of ESA National Training School Courses, High Heels and a Fire Ladder
In wrapping up Women’s History Month 2021, perhaps there is a bit of irony when women in security start their professional paths in female-dominated jobs, such as teaching, but later find career success in a male-dominated industry, such as the security industry. Haley Glover, senior security consultant at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, did just that.
“I was a teacher for ESL [English as a Second Language] and Special Education for early childhood through sixth grade,” she explains. “After some years, I wanted to try something new, so I went and saw a recruiter.”
The recruiter, also a female, asked Glover how she would feel about the security industry to which she replied, “Oh, well I’m really nosey, so that would be fun!”
Her response to the recruiter was probably rooted in her love for crime shows and their continuous reference to the security industry.
“I love crime TV shows!” Glover exclaims, reiterating the fact that she’s really nosey. “My mom and I would watch a lot of Investigation Discovery and we love watching ‘See No Evil,’ but you know, the whole thing of it is, you are able to find out who murdered them and how they were murdered by following a trail of cameras, because obviously, cameras are everywhere.”
Into the Security Industry
So, Glover began a new career in the security industry as an administrative assistant and soon, her manager saw something special in her. He approached her one day and mentioned that he thought she was “pretty good at this stuff,” referring to security-related questions.
“I was answering questions that he was asking our technicians,” says Glover, “so he was like, ‘you need to get your license so you can start selling.’”
Glover turned to ESA National Training School Courses to help her achieve her licensing goal, and later, even more.
“I started with the Level I Certified Alarm Technician [course] and from there started reading the [course] book about access control specifics and surveillance, and it just continued from there.”
After a stint of selling and being out in the field, she moved to a different security company — Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, a cannabis security consultancy located in Dallas, Texas. Because cannabis is not legal in the state of Texas, Glover spends most of her time as a consultant communicating with out-of-state clients and other vendors in addition to paperwork, facility design and a degree of project management.
“We do the security section of state applications which is a written portion as well as a floor-plan design, so we’re writing and reviewing those and completing those floor-plan designs,” she explains. “There is also the build-out side, where I act as ‘project manager,’ so I have a lot of phone calls with general contractors, architects, IT departments, and then also communication with the client and whoever the integrator may be.”
Never Stop Learning
With a background in education and teaching, continually practicing the act of soaking in knowledge, as well as overcoming a learning disability herself, Glover not only understands but continues to learn as much as possible about the industry. In fact, her learning disability was the reason she originally became a teacher.
“It was something where for multiple choice questions, I would think, “ok, A is the right answer,’ and I would circle B,” she says, continuing that she would not notice it until she got her paper back and wondered why that answer was circled instead of the answer she chose.
As she went through ESA’s CAT Level I course, she found it to be very straight forward and self-paced, which empowered her as a student to be able to go back and look at the course material as many times as necessary. She particularly enjoyed the videos spaced sporadically throughout the course and found the course caters to all different types of learners, even using popular pop culture television references to enhance learning.
Previous to penning this article, I reached out to Haley via LinkedIn messenger where she told me she was pleasantly surprised when one of ESA’s courses referenced the TV show, ‘The Office,’ so when I asked her what she liked most about ESA courses and what she found most helpful she joked: “Well, you know, besides slipping ‘The Office’ reference in there … it’s something that caught my eye and kept me interested.”
Because of her positive experience with CAT Level I, Glover continues to look to ESA’s National Training School courses for continuing her industry education.
“I have chosen courses that I thought would be related like the Codes and Standards Refresher; Troubleshooting Intrusion Alarm Devices; Troubleshooting Panels and Power Supplies, and then after COVID had come, I saw all the courses ESA has available, so I signed up for a bunch of them,” Glover says.
So far, she has completed Job Safety Reminders with three other ESA courses to complete by, at the time of this writing, the end of March 2021.
“I love that ESA offers [shorter, continuing education courses] because it gives me something to do when I want a little break from work,” she says.
Glover offers some advice to other students who want to find success with ESA’s National Training School courses.
“I think the physical book is crucial because going back through it, you can take your own notes and make reminders of course material,” she says as she explains that she must read it, write it and speak it to really remember, referring to her learning style.
It is also important to continue taking courses sporadically.
“We all need reminders, and you do start to forget if you’re not using one specific topic, like, I haven’t wired an alarm panel in a few years, but I can still figure it out very easily just by having continuing education and keeping up with this skill.”
A Womanly Moment in the Field
As Women’s History Month closes, Glover has what many will think is the perfect story that fully embodies being a woman in security as well as one of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s famous quotes: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”
At one point in her security career, Glover was physically working out in the field. For example, she would do risk assessments in which she would go to a client’s property, open their alarm panel to see all their zones. Let’s say a client would tell her, “we don’t have any hold-up buttons” and she knew that they should, she would assess their panel and if it wasn’t listed, she’d go into the alarm panel online — simply doing her job in which to some, she looked a bit out of place.
“I usually dress up when I go to work,” explains Glover. “There was this time when I was at a location for a jeweler here in Dallas. I was told that there were beams on the roof, but I couldn’t find them in the zone list, so I climbed the fire ladder … in heels … the technician looked at me like, ‘you are crazy!’
Glover did not allow heels to be a barrier; she needed to know for sure if beams existed on the client’s roof to successfully do her job. Come to find out, the beams were not there.
“I knew to have my boots, but for some reason, I only had heels,” Glover reminisced, laughing. “I mean it probably wasn’t the safest, but it was not like I was in cowboy boots … cowboy boots are really heavy so …”
According to Glover, unfortunately, women might not be fully trusted at first by clients or general contractors. This is where she identifies being confident as the best piece of advice to other women in the industry, leading with the example of ascending and descending a fire ladder in heels, all in the name of simply doing her job.
“Be confident with the knowledge that you already have and believe in yourself that you can do just as good of a job, if not better, than someone else,” Glover advises. “Just have that type of confidence.”