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Breaking barriers: Interview with Securitas’ Antonia Elliott

VP of Talent Development Antonia Elliott shares how to prioritize self-development, foster collaboration, and address “blind spots” when it comes to biases.

4 min read


This blog series celebrates the remarkable women leaders who play a pivotal role in shaping Securitas into the company it is today. As part of this series, we're shining a light on the women who are breaking barriers and leading the way across our organization. Through their stories and professional journeys, you can gain valuable insights into life at Securitas, learn from their experiences, and uncover the tips and lessons they've gained along the way.

In this edition, meet VP of Talent Development Antonia Elliott. Antonia is a standout leader who is working diligently to create a leadership culture across Securitas. Responsible for all things related to building and executing talent strategy, she oversees the design of learning journeys to attract and retain top talent. She also works to align business goals and identify solutions for gaps in knowledge.

For Antonia, confidence and self-awareness are key traits of a good leader. “I encourage aspiring leaders to lean into their confidence and get out of their comfort zones,” she says. “That’s where the magic happens!”

Continue reading for the full interview with Antonia.

Q&A with Antonia Elliott

What led you to the security industry?

After working most of my career in hospitality, I wanted to try something completely different and out of my comfort zone. I began the hunt for positions in other industries and decided to give the security industry a try. Although I was initially looking for something different, I became super interested in the similarities between hospitality and security – the focus on delivering a high level of customer service, anticipating the customer’s needs, and building lasting relationships. Once I learned more about Securitas, I was so drawn to our powerful purpose and the importance of identifying ways to make the world a safer place where our people can truly thrive.

How do you prioritize self-development, and what habits or practices have contributed most to your continuous growth as a leader?

As a leader, I make sure that my team members have individual development plans and have time to focus on building their capabilities, so it’s important that I lead by example and do the same. I plan my own professional development goals at the beginning of the year and block dedicated time on my calendar to make it a reality – for instance, attending conferences, working toward certifications, study time, etc.

Also, I review my technical skill and knowledge gaps and identify opportunities to deepen my expertise and ensure that I’m staying up to date with what’s happening in the field of learning and development. Last year, I completed the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for HR” certificate program through eCornell, as well as the Hogan Assessments Certification, which will enable me to interpret the personality assessment for leaders at Securitas.

How do you foster collaboration and create a positive work environment?

To foster true collaboration, it’s important to have a culture of feedback, and that doesn’t just happen on its own. You have to have trust as the foundation. Giving and receiving feedback takes daily practice, vulnerability, and a desire for continuous improvement.

How have others encouraged you throughout your career?

I have been so encouraged by the unwavering support that my great mentors and leaders have provided. But I’ve mostly been encouraged by the men and women I’m paving a path for, who have cheered me on from the sidelines for every promotion, every large project milestone, or learning experience rollout. I feel an immense pressure to do my part to remove barriers to entry for others so that leadership teams can be more diverse and inclusive.

What advice do you have for aspiring leaders?

I encourage aspiring leaders to lean into their confidence and get out of their comfort zones; that’s where the magic happens! I also encourage aspiring leaders to really get to know themselves, get a coach, take those personality assessments, ask for feedback, do all of the things that will help you increase your self-awareness. The sooner you become aware of your blind spots, the sooner you can work on strategies to make shifts.

How can the industry encourage more young women to pursue careers in security and technology?

If an industry or company truly wants to see more women working in this space, then they will put resources behind making it happen – for instance, mentorship and professional development programs, scholarships, and internships. Most importantly, they will take a firm stance on gender bias and stereotypes in the workplace and put policies and practices in place to create inclusive work environments. That takes a lot of consistent, focused work, but it can be done. Everyone has to be involved in bringing about cultural change.

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