The real-life gadget maker ‘Q’ from James Bond is a woman, MI6 chief Alex Younger has revealed.
Speaking at the Women in IT Awards 2017, Young encouraged more women to join the intelligence services. The awards, at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, where attended by an estimated 800 people.
Young, known as ‘C’, used his speech as part of a broader drive to recruit more women into Britain’s intelligence services.
He said :”The real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman.”
“The problem for me is that we’ve got to get over and see through the Bond thing. It’s great in some ways because it means that all of our opponents think there’s an MI6 officer behind every bush. But it leads to a stereotype which is of a particular kind or a particular sort of person that will join MI6.”
The character of Q, a tech and gadget expert, has always been played by a man in the Bond films.
Young added that it is important “that we in MI6 draw on the full range of talent that our country has to offer.”
“It doesn’t matter what your gender is what matters is your character, your creativity and your determination.”
Despite rumors, including that of Gillian Anderson becoming the first female James Bond, there is yet to be a “Jane” Bond.
A 2015 report by the Intelligence and Security Committee, revealed that while 53% of civil service employees are women, this figure stands at only 37% for the intelligence agencies.
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) launched a “CyberFirst Girls Competition” last month with the aim of encouraging more girls to consider a career in cyber security. The competition invited girls girls aged 13 to 15 to compete in a series of online challenges.