Sara Stephenson, portering and security manager for Sodexo’s healthcare business, was presented with the Frontline award at the 2019 Women in Security (WIS) Awards held on the 12 September.

Sara is Sodexo’s portering and security manager for Queen’s Hospital, Romford. She joined Sodexo in 2013 as a portering supervisor, quickly progressing to deputy portering and security manager within one year.

Through Sara’s innovative ways of working, she has implemented multiple improvements to the service. Examples include the introduction of covert stab vests and awareness training, encouraged engagement with the NHS Trust’s teams, and the enhancement of her team’s performance by championing diversity. Sara plays a vital role at Queen’s Hospital, with her quick actions and leadership skills used in the prevention of death and serious injury across multiple incidents.

On her win, Sara commented:

After I fell into security, I quickly sunk my teeth into the service. Since managing both the portering and security services at Queen’s Hospital, the team has employed seven female security officers and 10 female porters to reduce the perception that these roles are ‘male jobs’. I have also helped to introduce a caring, reactive and compassionate approach over a hard security image; this has really helped to support the needs of the hospital’s vulnerable patients.

"I was ecstatic to hear my name called out after working in a male dominated environment for so long. I am very grateful for the nomination and to those who took time to vote and organise the WIS Awards ceremony.”

Jane Farrell, Head of Security, Sodexo UK & Ireland, added: “Since joining Sodexo, Sara has been a consistently hard worker who has bought ideas and innovation to her team and the company’s wider security family."

She always leads by example, maintaining a professional and calm exterior even in the most complex and dangerous of situations. She is a credit to herself, her team and Sodexo.

The WIS Awards are the security profession’s dedicated awards that recognise the accomplishments, value and contributions of women. The awards are judged by the chairs and chief executives of UK leading professional organisations within the security industry. In total, three Sodexo people were shortlisted in two of the five award categories.



Sara Stephenson, portering and security manager, Sodexo UK & Ireland - centre

Una Riley, Patron and Founder of the WIS Awards - left

Roy Cooper, Manging Director of Professional Security Magazine - right

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