Join AETOS | Life @ AETOS | Celebrating SG Women

Celebrating SG Women

This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of some of our officers who have excelled in a traditionally male-dominated industry. We spoke to these officers to learn more, so that their stories may both inspire other women, and encourage the AETOS family as a whole to continue to work towards making our workplaces more inclusive.

Security Executive Razilayantie Binte Razmi
Why did you choose to join the security industry?I was looking for new job opportunities when my brother suggested that I could give the security industry a shot. My fiancé, who is a Chief Security Officer with another agency, also encouraged me to consider it. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to try it out because not only was it interesting, setting out to excel in a male-dominated industry seemed like quite a challenge. I saw an ad for AETOS in a newspaper and applied for a job shortly after.

I started out as a Security Officer, and took courses to upgrade myself along the way. After I became a supervisor around my third year in AETOS, my operations manager recommended that I try out a leadership role. I’ve been a Security Executive since January 2020 and assist my operations manager with administrative work, while looking out for the sites and officers under my division.

Have you faced any difficulties along the way?Of course! I felt like I had to try exceptionally hard to prove myself, especially once I took up a leadership position. Occasionally I faced sentiments like “she’s a woman, how can she take charge?”, and quite a bit of jealousy. However, I think I have more than proven my abilities through the work that I do, and am lucky to have supportive leaders who give me due recognition. As for the haters? Don’t care la. *laughs*

How has AETOS supported you in your career?My supervisors and the operations managers I work with are definitely supportive – they give me positive feedback and constructive criticism so I can keep improving myself, and they are very encouraging. I am quite thankful that I continue to have the opportunity to take courses to keep upskilling myself. I went through CERT training last year and recently, I even became a certified paracounsellor!

Do you feel like your contributions matter?Definitely. What a man can do, women can too! I was deployed at a lot of major events during my time here, and that has helped refine my leadership skills. I also help to train new officers on the job and share my experience with them.

Any words of inspiration for fellow women today?There is nothing impossible for those who want to try.

Inspector (APF) Sangeetha D/O PalachandranWhy did you choose to join the security industry?Previously, I was with the Singapore Police Force K-9 Unit for almost 12 years. I handled both narcotics and explosives detection dogs, and was the champion for the SPF EDD Dog Trial for two consecutive years. I left the force to take a break when I got married, but I was still passionate about pursuing a uniformed career, and felt I still had a lot more to give. Eventually, I came out searching for jobs again and joined AETOS because I felt it had come a long way since it was established and there is still plenty of room for further growth. During the interview, they saw my work experience and invited me to become part of the new K-9 unit. It was an obvious choice for me, and exciting to be part of something new.

Have you faced any difficulties along the way?Thankfully, I have not faced any difficulties, gender-related or otherwise. As far as I can see, every individual officer is treated equally and given the same respect and recognition in AETOS, regardless of gender or any other attributes. Our unit is also quite tight-knit and we support one another.

How has AETOS supported you in your career?I got many opportunities to go for courses to enhance my skills and develop my career. The highlight was a three-week visit to the United States to be trained to handle cargo search dogs – it was an amazing experience! I have attended numerous WSQ-certified courses, and recently, I was also certified to become a paracounsellor.

Do you feel like your contributions matter?Definitely - my team received due recognition for the hard work we put in towards setting up the AETOS K-9 unit. It certainly wasn’t an easy process, but I felt my years of work experience and skills came in very useful here, and I am glad to have played my part. As part of the pioneer batch, I feel like it is my responsibility to impart my knowledge to future generations of handlers, and help shape our unit into the best auxiliary police K-9 unit in Singapore.

Any words of inspiration for fellow women today?I always remember my favourite quote by Oprah when the going gets tough. “Think like a Queen. A Queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness”.

Sergeant (APF) Tan Sang HongWhy did you choose to join the security industry?After I got my polytechnic diploma, I spent a few years as an officer in the SAF, and then went into accounting for most of my career. While I had a flair for the work, it ate up most of my time and I was not able to find much work-life balance. I remember a period of time when my only companion would be my PC and the only time I answer calls would be to order food!

Eventually, enough was enough, and I began to think about a career change. I felt that the security line was ideal in terms of job stability, and after years of crunching numbers, I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. Considering the rise in domestic and terrorist threats in recent years, security is becoming increasingly important, and something that I felt I could contribute to.

Have you faced any difficulties along the way?Some might think that age could be a difficulty in this industry. That’s not a problem – it’s all about having the right attitude and keeping yourself fit. I started running and training immediately after I went for the job interview, and was well-prepared by the time I became a trainee. I even scored the highest in physical training in my entire cohort of 50 trainees!

Objectively, I don’t think gender makes any difference in this industry either. We may have some physical limitations, but that hardly impacts our ability to carry out security duties or to think on our feet. As long as we are well trained and are capable enough, the opportunity to rise through the ranks is there. My husband is very supportive – he’s not worried about whether I’m up to the challenge physically, but rather for anyone who tries to be funny with me. I may be small but I’m a chilli padi and won’t hold back!

Do you feel like your contributions matter?I am glad that I am able to help keep Singapore safe. Regardless of gender, race, or background, we all share the same responsibility of looking out for security threats on the frontlines, and playing a part in the defence of our country is very meaningful to me.

Any words of inspiration for fellow women today?It’s the attitude that counts!