UMBRA News

The UMBRA x TATLER Webcam Guide

The UMBRA x TATLER Webcam Guide 1152 648 UMBRA Select

We’ve partnered with Tatler to ensure that #everydaysecurity and #SecureLifestyle resources are available to everyone.

If you’re reading this as part of our Tatler Good Schools Guide Campaign and you’re involved in education, or you are Private Client professional working with younger clients, please call us on +442081336888 or email info@umbrainternational.com to book a discussion around our unique and award winning services providing Secure Lifestyle for the Next Generation.

Our first in our series of Secure Lifestyle Toolkit products are these handy webcam covers: a simple tool to keep you safe as you navigate your digital life. To order more please call us on +442081336888 or email info@umbrainternational.com.

User Instructions:

  1. Remove double tape tabs 
  2. Position the base over the camera lens and press firmly 
  3. Once installed, simply slide the cover to the left to close and the right to open 

Why use an UMBRA x Tatler webcam cover?

  • Cybercriminals can gain access to the webcams embedded in your devices. This means they can potentially watch, listen, and record things happening in your home.
  • It’s not always obvious who’s watching. Cybercriminals are often able to turn off the LED light that comes on when your webcam is in use, meaning you aren’t always safe when you think you are.
  • With a wireless camera, the associated IP address and password could potentially be hacked or guessed at. This leaves them open to access by a nefarious party.
  • With a built-in camera, your device is the entry point for criminals looking to gain access. Using malware or a virus, cybercriminals can use your webcam to see into your private spaces.

Our #SecureLifestyle webcam tips:

  • Use the UMBRA x TATLER webcam cover to ensure that there is a physical barrier between your camera and your space when you’re not using it.
  • Make sure you have a firewall running on all of your devices to prevent  malware.
  • Ensure you’re using antivirus software that’s up to date.
  • Continually update your operating system – this ensures any access risks are patched.
  • Don’t open suspicious emails, links or attachments.

For any help or support with the above, do get in touch on +442081336888 or email info@umbrainternational.com.

We love seeing your Secure Lifestyle Toolkit products in actio – feel free to snap a picture, follow and tag us @umbrainternational.com and use the hashtag #SecureLifestyle.

We give away a laptop privacy screen every month to one of our followers and subscribers to our newsletter. Sign up below to enter:

Embracing Change

Embracing Change 2048 1152 UMBRA Select

UMBRA CEO Kate Bright was honoured to be invited back to Burgess Hill Girls School on Friday 8th July 2022 to deliver the end of term Founders’ Day speech and give out prizes. Head teacher Mrs Laybourne was celebrating her last Founders’ Day after many years at the school, including Kate’s tenure as a student from 1990-1997.

Highlights from her speech include:

“There is something really nostalgic and special about being invited back to my old school where I joined in 1990 as music scholar, and left as Yeats House Captain in 1997 – Yeats now having been renamed as ‘Williams’ House, named after one of my favourite tennis players.

“I am really honoured to be here today to speak to you all. What makes it even more special is being here for Mrs Laybourn’s farewell. Believe it or not, Mrs Laybourn used to “encourage” a 14-year-old me to go cross-country running in freezing temperatures and attempt to direct a hockey ball in the vague direction of the goal. All that sports training with Mrs Laybourn came full circle at the Brighton Marathon in April of this year, when, at mile 23 as I crawled to the end, she caught me at a vulnerable moment where I felt a mixture of exhaustion and elation – and that was when she asked me to talk to you all today.

“I’ve been asked to talk about Embracing Change. So, I’d like to share with you 3 significant times of change in my life that has taken me to where I am today. They’ve also been significant in helping me develop my life’s mantra: which is “Look within. Look beyond. Look around.“.

I’m going to take you back now to 1997 when none you were born! One of my first experiences of embracing change came when I didn’t get into my first choice of University. I’d worked hard, but 2 years of illness and surgery 6 weeks before my exams, meant I didn’t get the grades to get into my first choice – Leeds University. At the time I was devasted by the enforced change of another university, but this change led to one of the most challenging and exciting adventures of my life.

“My French course at Royal Holloway, University of London included the opportunity, to spend time on the idyllic tropical island of La Reunion in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which just happens to be a part of France! It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. And still today, I have many lifelong friends, contacts, and connections from the unexpected turn my life took at that time. Reflecting back, I realise I learnt many other things through this enforced change : determination, focus, standing my ground, saying ‘no’ when needed, accepting the help of others, and perhaps most importantly, self-care – looking after my own physical and mental fitness and building strength and resilience in both. This was the start of my first lifelong mantra – LOOK WITHIN.

“Now I’m going to take you to 2001 (still most of you were not born then either!). After university I became a Personal and Executive Assistant for wealthy, high profile families (including / well known TV presenters and business leaders) eventually becoming a Chief of Staff. This was like being the CEO of a company, where I had to oversee all aspects of my clients’ life, and manage those who worked for them, including those charged with their security. Little did I know at that time, the huge change that was on the horizon. I had the opportunity to do some training which for me, was transformational. It culminated in 2013 with undertaking my Close Protection license training – Bodyguarding to you and me. It also started me on a journey of personal development and lifelong learning, something I truly believe is key to being able to embrace change with enthusiasm and positivity.

“If you’d said to me, sat where you are sat now, that I would have spent last 10 years working as a female bodyguard, set up my own international business, employ people, challenge the norm in an industry that is seen as stereotypically male, deliver a Ted talk about female bodyguards in a man’s world, and become a Chartered Security Professional, as well as progress through the ranks of my industry Livery company to become a Liveryman of the City of London, I would have laughed at you. And I would have laughed too at the fact that the honour of being a Liveryman also allows me the ancient privilege of being able to drive sheep across Tower Bridge!

“What is the part of my life mantra that ties this all together? It is the LOOK BEYOND part. Never stop learning – it is what will bring surprise, success, and joy to your life. And few of us might know what that direction will be. As an 18-year-old I had little idea what I was going to ‘do when I grow up’ going other than from studying French at Uni… and that’s fine too. My advice – just don’t stop LOOKING BEYOND to open yourself up to learning opportunities as they come along.

“And this brings me to the third and final part of my mantra – LOOK AROUND and a more recent experience of embracing change – one enforced upon all of us, one way and another, by the Covid pandemic. So, imagine me, in January 2020 with business booming. I had a beautifully written 5-year business plan that saw international expansion and a huge contract that would take us to the next level as a business. Well, I don’t need to tell you what happened next. With a world suddenly locking down and a contract pulled, I had to draw on all my resources.

“What did this teach me? The power of looking around. Like everyone else, I had no clue what lay ahead when the government restrictions kicked in. I had to look after my team, myself, and my family, without any idea of what I was really doing. After doing some of the usual things like baking banana bread and doing an online family quiz (which I won!), I sat down at the end of March 2020, at my newly christened ‘home working station’, and thought, ‘the one thing that’s still out there are all the people I know and work with’.

“So, I sent an email to every single person in my immediate professional network with two simple questions – ‘how are you? and how can I help you?’. This not only served to start conversations that I will never forget, share highs and lows with my team, and work relentlessly to provide support to our clients, it also enabled me to rework my 5 year business plan more logically, to explore new ventures, and even more exciting opportunities.

“One of the few certainties in life is that Change is inevitable. So go out there and embrace it with open arms. And remember when change leaves you feeling unsettled or overwhelmed, LOOK WITHIN yourselves prioritizing mental and physical fitness , LOOK BEYOND your current situation and grasp those opportunities to learn and grow and LOOK AROUND to find friends, family and colleagues who will support you on your journey.”

UMBRA – Pride in Recruiting

UMBRA – Pride in Recruiting 1080 1080 UMBRA Select

The workplace is like a microcosm of society at large. A cross-section of individuals reflecting the hierarchical opinions and attitudes that swirl around in the world outside, and sadly this means for many within the LGBTQIA+ communities that they face the same bias and exclusion within the workplace as they do outside of it. Therefore, it is an employer’s responsibility to proactively take control of their environment, to ensure it is an inclusive, diverse and comfortable place to be.

Study after study show clear results that a happy employee is a productive employee, and a productive employee creates a harmonious work environment, and harmony and productivity strengthen a business both financially and structurally.

It’s Pride month and we wanted to dig in, understand what our candidates and clients were thinking, and make sure that every month stays Pride month, so we asked some of our candidates, clients and friends from the LGBTQIA+ community – from Chief of Staff and Management to security personnel, for their feedback on a few questions relating to their experience whilst looking for work. The answers come from a variety of individuals who were kind enough to share their thoughts and experiences.

What kind of support would you appreciate from prospective employers when it comes to the interview process?

Having a potential employer state in their pre-interview correspondence (usually email) their diversity policies and making a point to say that they consider diversity an important part of their business is always a nice/comforting thing to experience. And, …..having them state ‘please let us know which pronouns and names you wish for us to use should they be different from any of our previous correspondence’ would be a hugely comforting thing to do.

When applying for a job, do you find that the application forms are fully inclusive for you as an individual? If not, please share what can be changed.

When it comes to the ‘gender’ box, I prefer using a box marked ‘self-described’, where I would then say ‘I live and work between both traditional genders’. Not every application form offers this however, in which I just use ‘choose not to disclose or similar’.

Are there any dos/don’ts when a newly introduced person is asking about your preferred pronouns/name?

I think as long as it’s asked in a sensitive but straightforward way, then all good. For example ‘Which pronouns would you like me to use when referring to you’? is perfectly ok.

Does your job search take place outside of the standard job portals/pages we are all familiar with, somewhere specific that you go to find jobs that are specifically LGBTQIA+ friendly?

Social media, certain platforms that filter applications that are specifically skewed towards different identity markers. Instagram is really good for that, there are pages that are dedicated to that….exists on Twitter as well and then also word of mouth.

Have you ever been asked for feedback from prospective employers on what your experience looking for work has been like?

We received a unanimous no to this question.

What could you advise an employer/recruiter on to make you feel respected and truly included?

Reference diversity and inclusion and state clearly that this is a safe space for LGBTQIA applicants. That would be a good start and would make most people feel much more included and respected than they otherwise would.

In terms of signs of inclusivity, what do you look for in a new company when you’re considering joining?

Their commitment to sustainability, their marketing and how they brand themselves, the imagery that they use, their visuals, i.e the identities and people that I see in their images. Seeing how many people of colour, or queer people, or other marginalised identities are in leadership or management positions. It’s also an energetic thing when I’m speaking to people – I’m gauging are they good listeners, active listening is the core of inclusivity…The moment I walk into a building, how am I welcomed, how am I received, what the culture of the company is, how do people relate with each other within the company. What kind of programmes that they have in place, wellbeing, any consideration for different identities…or what support do they have for new parents, new carers….are there considerations for different lived experiences….if I can see a company that is widening their outlook on how to accommodate their workplace for different identities, welcoming and celebrating these identities, … if not then it’s a red flag.

LGBTQIA+_UMBRA

Here at UMBRA we wanted to look at ways that we can show our continued support for our LGBTQIA+ candidates, so with the feedback that we received, we spoke with our software partners Insightly to discuss what their approach to ensuring a fully inclusive range of identity options was. We wanted to make sure our candidates have their details stored and their job searches optimised, so that we are enabling all those who work with us to have equal opportunity in line with our EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) policy. For those interested in what such a policy looks like, you can have a read here.

Chip House when you were creating Insightly what discussions and considerations did you have to make sure you were inclusive, and what changes or adaptions have you recently made or are in the process of implementing in relation to inclusivity?

“As a company, we are celebrating Pride Month with a range of programming, informational resources, and activities. For instance, a guest speaker and a Pride trivia event were held, in addition to providing resources and promoting use of gender-neutral language. We also amplified the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community in a blog post.”

“Thousands of companies around the world use Insightly to operate every day. We purposefully make Insightly a system that is easily customisable and can integrate with other systems so that when customers want to adapt their systems to new ways of doing business, it’s simple and doesn’t require a costly integrator or consultant. Creating new fields, updating existing ones to provide more options and respond to changing needs in your customer base…these are all possible with an open, flexible system like Insightly.”

Understanding that the options offered within our CRM systems are supportive to our candidates and providing our internal team with an awareness and transparency to better support our candidates and clients is a small starting point. Diversity and inclusivity aren’t achieved overnight, but researching and educating ourselves and our company, putting the correct policies in place, having open conversations with new candidates and existing employees, as well as having discussions with our suppliers, are a few of the basics to then build on.

Having intentional conversations and actively listening and including the LGBTQIA+ community in our journey is an important way of creating understanding and connection. Not acknowledging or being silent on the matter of allyship is a misplaced display of support. This often comes from the fear of not wanting to cause offence, however, it then closes the opportunity for an open space for dialogue and expression, and the erasure of the LGBTQIA+ experience within the workplace. With this in mind, we have encouraged the use of including our own pronouns within our email signatures to encourage a normalisation and support in stating them. 

Growth and development are a continuous journey, and as we pride ourselves on finding the best, most trusted teams for our private clients, we have made a commitment alongside our EDI policy to annually review our policies and processes to ensure that we are truly being inclusive. Part of the way we will be doing this is through educational workshops, exploring more comprehensively how we can as a company educate ourselves thoroughly and implement further practices that show our support.

In summary

  • Show your support for Pride ALL year-round, state your intentions and how you show your support, making inclusivity part of your brand.
  • Review company culture. Provide training and put in place comprehensive and transparent policies and follow through with necessary changes.
  • Use gender-neutral language in recruitment
  • Ask for honest feedback from candidates on their experience and include your own staff in this too. Make this a safe space for communication, including potentially negative responses.
  • Broaden your standard recruitment search to find a more diverse talent pool. Advertise on specific LGBTQIA+ job boards/social media pages.
  • Make it clear in the job description that all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome to the position.

With thanks to our contributors; Chris Cook, Tom/Sophie, Seda Yildiz and Chip House.

Written by Kim Garrett

Women in Disputes Panel

Founder Kate Bright joins Women in Disputes panel

Founder Kate Bright joins Women in Disputes panel 2309 1732 Rosemin Anderson

UMBRA International Group founder and CEO Kate Bright was invited to join the Women in Disputes panel, hosted by Raedas and held in the AllBright Members’ Club in Mayfair, London.

Speaking alongside Gita Trevorrow-Seymour, founder and MD of High Definition You, Kate gave insight into embracing “discomfort” zones and how to forge ahead in a career without fear.

Of the event, Kate said: “It was incredible to see so many women working in law attend at the wonderful AllBright Club to hear myself and Gita speak. I shared the difficulties and successes I have encountered during my career, and I felt privileged to be invited to reflect on this key topic to such an interactive and engaged audience.”

“As women, we often neglect to invest back into ourselves, our careers and our skills. I believe in investing 10% of your salary, your business turnover, or your profit into self-development to help propel your career and bolster your position as a woman in business.”

SIA appoints Kate Bright as Board Member

SIA appoints Kate Bright as Board Member 1333 2000 Rosemin Anderson

Chartered Security Professional and CEO of UMBRA International Group, Kate Bright, has been appointed to the Board of the Security Industry Authority (SIA). A position granted by the UK Home Office, Kate will occupy a governance role, providing insight and support for inclusion and diversity in the security industry.

Of her appointment, Kate said:

This is a role that I undertake with the commitment to listening and the openness to learning that I feel it deserves.  

I want to thank everyone who has supported this next chapter of my journey in my mission to make the Security Industry even more accessible. I’m really excited be a part of promoting opportunities for all, and continuing to grow UMBRA International Group and its Secure Lifestyle offering to put my learnings into action.