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National Diversity Awards

MI5 are pleased to be the Gold Sponsers of the National Diversity Awards. The National Diversity Awards are the UK's largest awards of their kind and publicly recognise the grass roots being done by communities and organisations across the UK to tackle issues of inequality and discrimination.


Diversity award logos


Keeping the country safe is a challenge that requires the best efforts of the richest mix of the most talented people in our society, working together in high performing teams. So it is essential to our success that ours is an inclusive workplace offering varied, rewarding and challenging careers for all”.
Director General Andrew Parker


Diversity matters. And at MI5 we are committed to reflecting the society we are helping to protect.  We’re proud of our progress; a growing proportion of staff are female (over 40 %), about 10% come from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and nearly 4% have a disability.  And we’re determined to build on this.

MI5 has a unique need to embrace diversity: an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a variety of communities is crucial for our work.  So it’s important our staff come from a breadth of backgrounds and cultures to reflect the people we work hard to protect.

We are pleased that our commitment to diversity has been publicly acknowledged.  In 2017 MI5 was named in the Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women and came fifth in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2017.  We have also been accredited Level 3 Leaders in by the Government’s Disability Confident Scheme and were named one of the UK’s Best Employers for Race.

Inside MI5 we have a number of thriving networks, each supported by our Executive Board.  These help ensure MI5 is an inclusive place to work, provide support for staff and a place for colleagues to socialise and network.  Details of some of these are below.

As an equal opportunities employer we hire, train and promote people based on merit, irrespective of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or religion. We also offer flexible working arrangements such as flexi-time, job sharing and compressed hours working where operational requirements allow.

Our networks include:

My5: Our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network, which works to build an environment which embraces the background, race, colour and beliefs of all who work at MI5.

GENIE: Our gender network (including non-binary) to achieve gender equality throughout MI5

Ability Action: Our network for staff to support those with an illness or disability

Faith/No Faith: Our forum for staff with a faith, or no faith, to come together

diMensIon5: Our network supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans staff for an inclusive MI5

We work with a number of charities and organisations to help us build a truly inclusive environment. This includes:

Stonewall: To create a work environment where staff can be themselves and thrive at work

Business Disability Forum: To make it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled staff

Business in the Community: To bring about lasting change on race and gender through participation in campaigns such as Race for Opportunity and Opportunity Now

MIND: To promote a healthy workplace and ensure the wellbeing of our staff

We were one of the first public sector organisations to sign up to the 30% Club to signal our commitment to improve gender diversity at senior levels and are signed up to the Social Mobility Compact which ensures that all young people have fair and open access to employment opportunities.

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