Britain's leading activist group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans equality today named MI5, the United Kingdom's domestic intelligence agency, as the number 1 employer for LGBT people in all of the U.K.
"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," said Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, in a statement. "This accolade from Stonewall is a great acknowledgment 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."
Coming in second in Stonewall's Top 100 Employers list for 2016 was Lloyds Banking Group, known colloquially as Lloyds of London.
Rounding out the top five were the National Assembly for Wales and the attorneys at Pinsent Masons.
MI5 beat out more than 400 organizations, companies, and government agencies and moved up from seventh place in 2015. Employers submit evidence of their performance to Stonewall, and this was the highest number of participants in the annual survey's history. The 10 factors on which employers are rated include staff engagement, training, career development, and job satisfaction. At the same time, employees rate each employer in an anonymous survey, and more than 60,000 people participated this year, Time magazine reports.
The staff survey revealed that 67 percent of lesbian, gay, and bi employees who are out at work experience greater job satisfaction and have a higher sense of achievement than those who are closeted, and that just 42 percent of transgender respondents reported that their senior leaders were demonstrably committed to trans equality in the workplace.
Merely 27 percent of lesbian, gay, and bi employees said they felt comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation to all colleagues and customers. Fewer than 24 percent of lesbians reported feeling comfortable outing themselves, while 33 percent of gay men did, and just 12 percent of bisexual individuals.