UK

MI5 named UK's most gay-friendly employer after survey

  • 19 January 2016
  • From the section UK
MI5 headquarters, in London Image copyright Reuters

The security service MI5 has been named as the UK's most gay-friendly employer, following a survey by a leading gay rights charity.

It beat some 400 organisations to top Stonewall's 2016 list of best employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff.

The survey assessed staff engagement, career development and other factors.

MI5 director general Andrew Parker said it was "a great acknowledgement of the continued progress we have made".

Stonewall said MI5 had demonstrated its equality in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, training and community engagement.

More than 60,000 staff from across the 400 organisations took part in an anonymous survey about their employers' attitudes.

Top five

  • MI5
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • National Assembly for Wales
  • B3Living
  • Pinsent Masons, jointly with Tower Hamlets Homes

MI5's Mr Parker said: "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."

Stonewall named Leicestershire County Council (7th overall) as the the top performing local authority, Cheshire Fire and Rescue (13th) as best emergency service, and Cardiff University (20th) as top educational organisation.

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall's chief executive, said top-ranking organisations were not only improving the lives of their staff but also "reaping business benefits".

"We know that people perform better when they can be themselves and it's been proven that diversity among staff leads to a more productive, positive and creative workplace environment," she said.

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