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MI5 comes out top in gay-friendly employer survey

In a survey by Stonewall, MI5 is the top employer for promoting LGBT diversity. Credit: Reuters

British intelligence service, MI5, has been named the most gay-friendly employer of the year by campaigners Stonewall.

The Stonewall Top 100 Employers, took data from the Workplace Equality Index for 2016, to assess the diversity of firms and government organisations.

MI5 came out the best for promoting LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) diversity in the workplace despite only lifting a ban on homosexual people 25 years ago.

The ranking is based on employment policies, training, career development and its support of LGBT employees.

Director-general Andrew Parker welcomed the accolade describing it as a "great acknowledgement of the continued progress we have made over recent years in ensuring we draw on the widest possible pool of talent in our vital work."

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.

– Director-general of MI5, Andrew Parker

MI5 have made fantastic strides in creating an inclusive workplace. This is an amazing achievement and demonstrates just how seriously diversity and inclusion is taken.

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.

– Stonewall chief executive, Ruth Hunt

More than 400 companies took part in the list, the highest number in its 12 year history, which saw Lloyds Banking Group coming second with the National Assembly for Wales in third place.

More than 60,000 staff from the organisations were also surveyed.

The top performing organisations in each sector were:

  • Defence and Security: MI5 (1)
  • Banking and Finance: Lloyds Banking Group (2)
  • Education: Cardiff University (20)
  • Emergency Services: Cheshire Fire & Rescue (13)
  • Energy: BP (43)
  • Government: National Assembly for Wales (3)
  • Health and Social Care: Golden Jubilee Foundation (29)
  • Housing: B3 Living (4)
  • Insurance: Aviva (46)
  • Legal: Pinsent Masons (5)
  • Local Government: Leicestershire County Council (7)
  • Media: Creative Skillset (20)
  • Professional Services: PwC (11)
  • Retail: The Cooperative Group (72)
  • Third Sector: Victim Support (13)