For Women's History Month, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is celebrating prominent women in the Greater Vancouver business community. Our next profile in our series features Securiguard Services Ltd.'s Senior Vice President for Strategy and Culture, Lorna Clamp.
What inspired you to pursue your line of work?
I started my career as a receptionist at Securiguard, not long out of high school, at that time I wanted to be in administration. I found that working in the security industry was both stimulating and challenging. Throughout my career, I was driven by a desire to make a positive impact on my community, which is why I introduced initiatives like Securiguard Cares to showcase our company's commitment to putting people first. I'm proud to have supported local charities and organizations, volunteered on different events, and have given back to the community in meaningful ways.
In addition to the opportunity to make a difference, the security industry also offered many opportunities for career advancement. I was able to progress from an entry-level position to a senior leadership role over the course of my career, which has been very rewarding. I also appreciated the job stability and flexibility that Securiguard provides, which allowed me to balance work and family responsibilities.
Overall, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in the security industry for the past 30 years. It is a fulfilling and rewarding experience that allowed me to make a difference in people's lives and grow both personally and professionally.
Is there a female role model or mentor who helped you in your career?
My mother is not just my role model but also my greatest supporter. Despite being a single mom, she worked tirelessly to provide for me and ensure that I received the best possible. Her unwavering dedication and hard work have instilled in me the values of perseverance, determination and the importance of family. Through her selflessness and sacrifice, she has set a remarkable example for me to follow. I am truly grateful to have such an inspiring and phenomenal woman in my life.
What is your favourite part about living and working in Greater Vancouver?
There are so many reasons why I enjoy living and working in Greater Vancouver. Coming originally from Ontario, I can honestly say that the weather is one of the things I enjoy the most; yes, it can rain at times, however, the year-round abundance of greenery makes the seemingly never-ending rainy season much more bearable. I love the ability to be outdoors in our wonderful city. With its beautiful parks, beaches, and mountains, there's always something to do outside, whether it's hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
If the environment of the Vancouver area wasn't enough, the cultural diversity of the city makes it a vibrant and exciting place to live. The city is home to a wide range of communities, and there are plenty of opportunities to experience different cultures through food, festivals, and events – and the food really is the best part.
What do you think Greater Vancouver needs more of?
Not just Vancouver, but everywhere needs more kindness; some of the stories you hear in the news leave a lot to be desired.
What is the biggest challenge for women in the workplace today?
I do think we have come a long way, but women continue to face barriers such as unconscious bias, gender stereotypes, and limited career advancement opportunities. This can result in fewer women in leadership roles and lower salaries for the same job than their male counterparts. I have been fortunate that these types of biases have not reduced my ability to work hard and progress to one of the highest positions in our company.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
Other than working at the same company for almost 30 years, which is almost unheard of nowadays, I am proud to have completed 5 Tough Mudders and done the 5 Peaks Trail Running.
Have you seen how women are treated at work change as equality is discussed more openly?
I have been lucky at Securiguard, as women receive equal opportunity. That said, I firmly believe that as gender equality is discussed more openly, it is having a positive impact resulting in unconscious biases being reduced.
What is the most important lesson, business or otherwise, life has taught you?
What do you know now that you wish you had known at the start of your career?
I wish I had known a few things back when I started, so it is hard to pick one, however I would say:
· It's better to be kind than it is to be right.
· Patience, we hear, is a virtue, but often we lose our stamina waiting for things to come to fruition. However, it is important to know that good things take time; and as Desmond Tutu once said… "there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time."
· Don't take down walls until you know why they were built. Don't rush into change.