Five organisations from the defence and security sector have made the Top 100 Employers list, compiled by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall.
Named the most inclusive performer in 2016, MI5 has made a strong return to the Top 100 this year, coming in at number four.
A spokesperson for MI5, said:
“MI5 is delighted to once again be ranked a Top 10 LGBT-inclusive employer in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2019. Being recognised in the Index is testament to our strong commitment to diversity and to creating a culture where everyone is able to be themselves and to give their very best at work. Our LGBT+ network and allies have played a key role in our LGBT journey, along with an absolute commitment from the very top.”
Andrew Parker, Director General, MI5, said:
“I am proud of the great strides we have made and know our staff share in my vision for a diverse and thriving Security Service. Working by these values is what makes MI5 stronger, and it’s what helps keep this country safe.”
The sector’s second highest-performing organisation is the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at number 15, who moved ahead by 17 places from their 2018 position of 32. Their strong performance was driven by reverse mentoring programmes to help senior leaders enhance their understanding of LGBT issues and their engagement with local schools.
A spokesperson for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, said:
“The Royal Navy is delighted to be recognized in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list 2019. We are fully committed to creating an inclusive environment across the complex breadth of our organisation which recognizes, values and celebrates all our people and their differences.
Senior leadership is considered by the Royal Navy to be essential to creating this environment and our Seniors are therefore visible in their commitment to LGBT equality and are fully committed to providing a workplace where our people from all sexual orientations and gender identities feel comfortable being their true selves.”
The British Army was another high climber, surging 33 positions to land at its 2019 ranking of 51. The report cites the Army’s work on inclusion which has included mandatory diversity training that is LGBT-inclusive and the British Army have engaged with Royal British Legion to support their recently launched National LGBT+ Branch that supports veterans transitioning to civilian life.
Brigadier Bobby Walton-Knight CBE, The British Army, said:
“The British Army is proud to once again be listed in the Stonewall Top 100. This listing recognises our commitment to being an inclusive employer that offers opportunities for all and reflects the society it represents.”
The Royal Air Force rounds out the list of defence organisations in the Top 100, coming in at 68.
Air Commodore Clare Walton, RAF LGBT+ Advocate, said:
“As the RAF’s LGBT+ Advocate, I am delighted and thrilled to see the RAF listed as a Stonewall Top 100 Employer, recognising our ongoing work and successes in supporting our LGBT+ personnel now and into the future. We are immensely proud of the inclusive culture we have created and continue to enhance and are absolutely committed to delivering a working environment in which all personnel, irrespective of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, or other characteristics, feel valued and have the opportunity to thrive.
Our LGBT+ Network is made up of passionate and dedicated volunteers who make a real difference to the lived experience of our people, and we remain grateful for their outstanding work in collaborating with our Diversity and Inclusion Advocates and Policy staffs to deliver meaningful support for our collective belief.”
Rounding out the entries from the defence and security sector in the Top 100 is MI6, who place at 86 (49 in 2018).
This year’s Top 100 was the most competitive ever say the organisation, with 445 employers vying for a spot.