STONEWALL has today named the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines among the nation’s top LGBT-friendly employers.
The naval service appears 15th on the charity’s Workplace Equality Index, which lists the top 100 UK-based organisations for commitment to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender staff.
In 2005 The Royal Navy became the first defence organisation to join Stonewall as a diversity champion.
Since then it has continued to support LGBT+ sailors and marines through its gender identity and sexual orientation network, Compass.
Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Tony Radakin said: ‘To fulfil our mission of keeping Britain safe, we rely on the skills of the most talented people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
‘Not only do we want to reflect the communities we serve, but we know our people perform at their best when they can be themselves. Therefore we are fully committed to providing a workplace where our sailors and marines feel supported.
‘I am immensely proud to see our continued efforts recognised with such a high position on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index this year.’
Last year, the naval service enhanced its support of the LGBT+ community when Royal Marines officially took part in London Pride – their first time appearing at a pride event.
Sailors and marines were cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators as they were led through the capital by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines from HMS Collingwood last July.
Commander Samantha Truelove, co-chair of the Compass Network, said: ‘Growing our position in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is a ringing endorsement of who we are as an organisation.
‘LGBT+ men and women should absolutely consider the Royal Navy or Royal Marines as a career option because we know our people are our strength.
‘We will always provide a workplace where people can be themselves and differences are celebrated – it’s your talent and commitment that matters.
‘It feels great to be able to serve my country knowing my sexuality has no impact on the acceptance and support of my colleagues.
‘As an individual and as co-chairman of our Compass Network I am proud to say I can truly be myself in the workplace and am valued for my contribution to the Royal Navy and wider Defence.’
This year’s Top 100 was the largest ever with 445 employers entering, demonstrating their commitment to LGBT+ workplace inclusion.
To inform the index, Stonewall collects more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of Britain’s workplace culture.
Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they have engaged with LGBT+ communities.