UK spy agency named most gay-friendly employer

UK spy agency named most gay-friendly employer

 Britain's MI5 security service has been named as the country's most gay-friendly employer, according to a survey by a leading gay rights group.

MI5, the UK's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency beat around 400 organisations to top Stonewall's 2016 list of best employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff in a survey by Stonewall, a UK charity devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The survey assessed staff engagement, career development and other factors.
MI5 director-general Andrew 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 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.

Lloyds Banking Group, National Assembly of Wales, housing association B3Living, law firm Pinsent Masons jointly with Tower Hamlets Homes complete the top 5.

Stonewall named Leicestershire County Council (7th overall) as 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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