This February we’re proud to be marking LGBT+ History Month, a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* history, with this year’s theme being “Body, Mind, Spirit”. The pandemic has meant that we’re having to celebrate differently this year, but with the help of our LGBT+ Network, there are digital events planned for our staff and we’re also sharing and signposting the wealth of fantastic resources and events available online this year.
As an organisation we’ve been reflecting on what this year’s themes mean to us:
- Body – we’re continuing to support our LGBT+ colleagues by pushing the boundaries as an inclusive workplace, where staff feel empowered to bring their whole self to work.
- Mind – we’re paying tribute to those who have paved the way for a better future by reflecting on how far we have come as an organisation and looking ahead to how we can continue to learn and grow.
- Spirit – we’re continuing to recruit remarkable people from as diverse a range of backgrounds as possible, which reflects the country we work to keep safe.
MI5 has come a long way over the past decades and we're now proud to be one of the best places in the country to be LGBT+. We’ve previously come top of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index as the country’s best LGBT+ employer, and have previously been named Employer of the Year at the British LGBT Awards. We’ve made huge strides in our recruitment, in our workplace policies, and in our culture.
Last year, we publicly apologised for the way the organisation had treated gay men and women in the past. Reflecting on this and his vision for MI5 going forward, the Director General Ken McCallum told staff:
"I cherish the rich history of our organisation, and there are many great things we can learn from in our past. But we don’t always get things right; we must learn and adapt to become an organisation fit for the future. I’m therefore pleased we had the honesty and humility to publicly apologise last year for the experience of LGBT+ colleagues working here in the past – and indeed for all of the potential colleagues that were never able to join, but would have doubtless done great things for our mission.
"I’m proud and glad we have come a long way. We still have further to go. Ensuring better diversity and inclusion – for our LGBT+ colleagues and for all – is central to our future as an organisation, as we enrich our mix of talents and each are supported to give our best."
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