The aim of the MI5 BAME network is to ensure an equal playing field for all MI5 staff regardless of background, race, colour, culture or beliefs. We created the network because we wanted to recognise our diverse workforce and create an inclusive work environment which enables all staff to use their skills to the best of their ability.
The network has seen great progress since it was formed, although we are the first to recognise there is more to do. One of our most important ambitions is that we never become a network aimed at just hitting targets. For us, it’s much more than that. And our senior leadership agrees: this is not about doing things just to say we have.
We have had their full support to drive through a number of significant changes, including a new BAME leadership programme for all grades in MI5, a series of talks about diversity in the workplace and a new executive group who will drive through a programme of initiatives ranging from recruitment to career development.
But the most important thing is that we are making sure that race and ethnicity are being talked about and MI5 is being reflective of where it is and where it should be. Black History Month is therefore a great opportunity for us to not only celebrate people who have made a real impact on our country but to also educate our colleagues about black culture and challenges.
And why is this so important? Because our mission is to keep the country safe and we can only do this by making sure that we access the widest range of talent from across the country. We need to make sure that we reflect the community that we serve because it helps us in our mission but, above all it’s the right thing to do.”