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MI5 – The LGBT-friendliest British Employer
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of January 19, 2016) A quarter of a century after opening up to LGBT candidates, the MI5 (the British secret service in charge of interior security) reaches the top of the most gay-friendly employers in the UK, according to a ranking published on January 18, 2016 by Stonewall.
The Workplace Equality Index published by British LGBT organization Stonewall ranks the top-100 British employers – out of a total of 415 companies (representing 60,506 employees) who participated in the ranking this year.
For this ranking, Stonewall looked at 10 different criteria, such as training, career opportunities, hiring and integration policy, networking and commitment to the LGBT community.
The MI5 (whose tasks include fighting terrorism) has only been on the Stonewall ranking list since 2012. In 2013, it had reached rank 25, and two years later it already ranked 7 on the list.
As a side note: The Royal Navy ranks number 10 on the list, the army number 32 and the MI6 (the foreign and counter-espionage secret service) number 36. Twelve police authorities are also part of the top-100 list.
The MI5 was awarded the first place on the list for its hiring policy, the training and internal-mobility opportunities, which strongly focus on the staff’s well-being, particularly of the LGBT employees. The MI5 counts 70 gays and lesbians who have built their own social support network, and at London Gay Pride, the organization proudly flies the rainbow flag.
Why is there such a diverse workforce at an organization that has only hired LGBT persons since 1991? It is very simple: An intelligence service investigates all kinds of things and people, which means they need diverse methods and employees, too.
“We rely on the skills of the most talented people whoever they are, wherever they may be.”
Andrew Parker, Director of the MI5
Lloyds Bank and the Welsh Parliament are on ranks 2 and 3 of the list. The tertiary (service) sector (banks in particular) and municipalities are particularly well represented in the latest Stonewall Top 100.