Meet the Leeds bouncer smashing down stereotypes in the security industry

Abi Brook is challenged every day in her job.

By Abbey Maclure
Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 4:30 pm

Whether it's managing conflict, supporting vulnerable people or being questioned on her credentials because she's a woman, the Leeds bouncer is determined to break down stereotypes in the security industry.

The 19-year-old is a door supervisor at one of the city's largest nightclubs, PRYZM, and she's urging more young women to join the profession.

Abi dreamed of being an air hostess growing up and has worked as a hairdresser, as well as in a paint factory during lockdown.

Abi Brook, who works in door security for Professional Security, is urging more women to join the profession

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But she swapped the nine to five to train in her new career six months ago - and she thinks the flexible hours, teamwork and helping other people would appeal to other women too.

"At the time, I had a really different perspective of bouncers," Abi told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"I went to the course and that was one of the best weeks of my life. I met such good people and I was excited to go back every day."

Abi now works for Professional Security and she's been posted at Mint Festival and the Wetherspoons in Garforth, before joining the PRYZM security team.

She says playing rugby for seven years helped to prepare her for the role, but stressed the job is about much more than physical ability.

Abi said: “Every time I work, without a doubt, I get asked why I’m a bouncer.

"I think most people expect it to be a man’s job. But it doesn’t matter how big or small you are, how glamorous you are or what you look like, if someone needs help - I’m there.

"It’s what I work for, I go to work to have fun but also to know that I’ve helped someone."

Abi said there was a need for more female door staff, as she is able to connect with other women who might need her help on a night out.

Only 10 per cent of Professional Security's 9,000 frontline staff are currently women and it has launched a Women Winning In Security initiative, with the aim to double that figure in the next three years.

Abi said: "A lot of the time if you need to deal with a female, they don’t want to speak to a male.

"I explain to them that I’m 19 and behind the badge, I’m the same as them. I understand and I’ve got the same emotions they do.

"They open up then and it’s nice to build that connection.”

“Don’t stereotype the industry," Abi added, sharing her advice for other young women looking to break into male-dominated roles.

"You’re not there to take part, you’re there to take over.”

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