MI5 have been named as the top employer for lesbian, gay and bi staff, in Stonewall’s 2016 Workplace Equality Index (WEI).
Beating Lloyd’s Banking Group, the National Assembly for Wales and B3 Living to the top spot, MI5 has moved from the 134th position to first in six years. Stonewall believe that this achievement ‘takes on even greater resonance’ as until the early 90s, lesbian, gay and bi people were banned from holding the highest level of security clearance needed to work within the organisation.
Since then, MI5 has abandoned the bar, allowing LGBT to work in all areas of the company. They have also created an LGBT networking group, supported by a champion from its Executive Board.
Andrew Parker, MI5 Director General, said, “Much of MI5’s work keeping the country safe goes on by necessity out of view, so I’m delighted we can be publicly recognised as such an inclusive and welcoming place to work. MI5’s success in protecting the country depends on our staff’s commitment to the mission and to our enduring values of teamwork, professionalism and innovation. People can only give the best they can give when they feel supported, valued and treated with respect by their colleagues.”
Continuing, “ Diversity is vital for MI5, not just because it’s right that we represent the communities we serve, but because we rely on the skills of the most talented people whoever they are, and wherever they may be. This accolade from Stonewall is a great acknowledgement of continued progress we have made over recent years ensuring we draw on the widest possible pool of talent in our vital work.”
Stonewall chief Ruth Hunt said, “MI5 have made fantastic strides in creating an inclusive workplace, and have now appeared on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list since 2012.”
“This is an amazing achievement and demonstrates just how seriously diversity and inclusion is taken.”
The WEI also recognises its ‘Star Performers’ of organisations who have ranked in the top 10 of the index at least three times in the last five years. There a currently nine companies accredited as ‘Star Performers’ including Accenture, Barclays, EY, Gentoo, Goldman Sachs, Home Office, IBM, Simmons & Simmons and Nottinghamshire Healthcare.
Stonewall is a charity whose aim is to support the rights of the LGBT community. Founded in 1989, they are now the biggest LGBT rights organisation not only in the UK but also in Europe.
You can view the full report and find out the complete list of employers here.