The following is a profile of an employee at MI5
MI5 has been a consistent top performer in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for the past five years. The journey MI5 has come on as an organisation is one we often reflect on: until 1992 LGBT people were banned from becoming intelligence officers. We now have an active LGBT+ network with over 140 members and over 250 active LGBT+ Allies. A combination of a hard-working HR function, strong leadership and a fantastic staff network have all played a part in making MI5 the inclusive place it is today.
Since joining MI5, I’ve not once felt that I have had to hide my sexuality and can bring my true self to work every single day. I know that MI5 has a culture that embraces diversity and is genuinely striving to make its workforce as diverse as possible. This means that we have a wide variety of talented individuals who all come to work to help keep the country safe. The Security Service works very hard to reflect the country it protects; not just for LGBT+ but for all diversity groups.
Since joining, I’ve been able to help MI5 develop a range of training packages for staff; educating and advising on both LGBT+ Gender Identity and Trans* issues. Helping colleagues understand more about the issues that affect the LGBT+ community has really created an honest and open environment for everyone to be themselves, whoever they are and whatever their background. It’s great to be given the opportunity to help work on such an important piece of work alongside my day job.
We are continuing to work with other intelligence agencies, both in the UK and overseas, other government departments and the other MI5 diversity networks. The advice we give can be utilised more widely so that MI5 and other workplaces can be inclusive places to work for everyone. MI5 is a place that feels right for me and allows me to be myself, and being myself helps me keep the country safe.
MI5 is a sponsor of the ‘Inclusive Employer or Company’ category at the British LGBT Awards 2019.