MI5 celebrates Pride Month 2021
Every year, the month of June is celebrated as Pride Month, during which people around the globe come together to celebrate the progress that has been made in LGBTQ+ rights, and to recognise that there is still work to be done.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MI5 will be celebrating Pride Month virtually. However, that hasn’t stopped our LGBTQ+ diversity network from planning a raft of digital events for our staff.
Throughout Pride Month, MI5 will be flying the Progress Pride Flag above our London headquarters. The flag was designed in 2018 to better recognise the trans* community, LGBTQ+ people of colour, and to honour the lives of those who died due to AIDS. For us, the flag signifies our support for all members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the UK.
In a message to staff, the Director General of MI5 Ken McCallum said:
"I am pleased we will be flying the Progress Pride Flag above our headquarters throughout June in celebration of Pride Month. All of us in MI5 will be joining LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies in celebrating their contributions here and elsewhere, including contributions in the past. As we learn from progress made and work still to do, I want to renew our commitment to making our organisation a fully inclusive place to work for LGBTQ+ colleagues and for all."
Members of our staff have also been sharing what Pride and flying the Progress Pride flag means to them. One member of staff shared that:
“It is wonderful to see the Progress Pride Flag flying over our headquarters. I’m proud of how far we’ve come as an organisation in recognising and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and the work we are continuing to do to make sure that MI5 is inclusive for everyone. The addition of the stripes to signify racial, cultural and ethnic diversity in LGBTQ+ communities is a powerful one. I identify as gay and mixed race, and part of my heritage is linked to a country which doesn’t have the same approach to LGBTQ+ rights or protections as the UK. By flying the flag over our headquarters this month, I feel that MI5 is making it clear that everyone’s rights are important. I feel proud to work somewhere that is so open and forthcoming about this.”
Another staff member shared that:
“January 2021 marked the first time I looked in the mirror and saw that the person looking back at me wasn't a woman. In that same year, MI5 will fly the Progress Pride flag during Pride month, and to say that means the world to me is an understatement. We’re a secretive sort of place – we would be forgiven, I think, for not outwardly making a statement of the validity of trans* identities. Instead, MI5 has chosen to send a signal telling all their LGBTQ+ staff that they are welcome and that they belong. Here is a place where my identity isn’t just tolerated, but celebrated.”
If you’d like to find out more about the importance that MI5 places on having a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive working environment, or you’d like to know more about MI5’s diversity networks, visit our Diversity page.
Latest News from
Director General Ken McCallum gives annual threat update 202115/07/2021 15:15:15
MI5 Director General Ken McCallum gave his annual threat update yesterday, 14 July 2021, which was filmed at our headquarters in Thames House, London.
Counter Terrorism Operations Centre unveiled30/06/2021 14:38:00
On 28 June 2021, MI5 Director General Ken McCallum, alongside the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, accompanied the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London on a visit to the first completed section of the new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC).
MI5 joins Instagram23/04/2021 13:15:00
MI5 has stepped out of the shadows and joined Instagram with the aim of lifting the lid on what it’s really like to work at the Security Service.
MI5 celebrates International Women's Day 202108/03/2021 15:15:15
This year, although we won’t be able to host panel discussions and live events, as we have done in previous years, MI5 is still marking International Women’s Day with a series of digital events, talks and blogs for our staff during the first two weeks of March, led by our gender network.
MI5 marks LGBT+ History Month 202108/02/2021 13:15:00
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”.
MI5 Publishes Gender Pay Gap Report 202016/12/2020 15:15:15
MI5, along with SIS and GCHQ, yesterday published its Gender Pay Gap report.
Seeing MI5 Differently03/12/2020 12:43:00
MI5 is committed to ensuring that diversity is at the forefront of everything we do. International Day for Persons with a Disability, on 3rd December 2020, gives us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to creating an environment that is inclusive for everyone, and promote the value of people with disabilities in the workplace.
MI5 remembers: Armistice Day 202011/11/2020 12:43:00
Today, MI5 will be joining people around the UK to remember those who lost their lives whilst protecting our country.