The Security Service - one of the most secretive in the world - ranks best amongst a list of 100 employers, all rated by staff for their culture, diversity and inclusion in one of the UK's largest annual employment surveys. The service's foreign counterpart, MI6, is ranked 36 on the list.
Other entries in the Workplace Equality Index include six banking firms, including Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, and 14 local authorities, including the London Boroughs of Islington, and Tower Hamlets.
The Security Service, MI5, is ranked best in Stonewall's 2016's list
The Royal Navy, the Army, and six police forces also feature, while the National Assembly of Wales came third with the Welsh Government ranked joint 17th.
The index has now entered its 12th year. Stonewall received 400 entries from individual organisations, and surveyed over 60,000 staff.
Andrew Parker, Director-General, MI5, said that the recognition reflects the desire to hire those with required skills, regardless of sexuality.
Lloyds Banking Group came second in the list
The chief spook said: "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.
"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."
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: "MI5 have made fantastic strides in creating an inclusive workplace, and have now appeared on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list since 2012. This is an amazing achievement and demonstrates just how seriously diversity and inclusion is taken.
"I’d also like to thank all of those organisations that took part in Stonewall’s 2016 Workplace Equality Index, and congratulate our Top 100 and award winners. We’re thrilled to see such a commitment to lesbian, gay, bi and trans colleagues, but we also know that there is still lots to do."
Top 100 Employers List 2016
2 Lloyds Banking Group
3 National Assembly for Wales
5 Pinsent Masons
5 Tower Hamlets Homes
7 Leicestershire County Council
9 Clifford Chance
10 Royal Navy
11 Baker & McKenzie
13 Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service
13 Victim Support
15 Newcastle City Council
15 Suffolk Constabulary
17 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
17 Leicestershire Police
17 Welsh Government
20 Cardiff University
20 Creative Skillset
22 Circle Housing Group
22 Norton Rose Fulbright
22 Sussex Police
25 Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service
25 Herbert Smith Freehills
25 Northumberland County Council
28 Birmingham City Council
29 Golden Jubilee Foundation
30 Essex Community Rehabilitation Company
30 London Borough of Tower Hamlets
32 Norfolk Constabulary
32 Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
32 Royal Bank of Scotland Group
32 The Army
36 Office for National Statistics
36 Swansea University
36 Your Homes Newcastle
40 Financial Conduct Authority
41 J.P. Morgan
41 Sheffield City Council
44 Teesside University
46 Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
46 London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
46 North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
50 Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
50 University of Birmingham
53 University of Essex
53 University of Manchester
55 Core Assets Group
57 Hogan Lovells
58 De Montfort University
58 St Andrew's Healthcare
60 Bury Council
61 Land Registry
61 University of Sheffield
61 York St John University
64 Leeds Beckett University
64 Nottinghamshire County Council
64 Nottinghamshire Police
68 EDF Energy
69 The Riverside Group
70 HSBC Bank
71 West Midlands Police
72 Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
72 Environment Agency
72 Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
72 Reed Smith
72 St Mungo's
72 The Co-operative Group
78 Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
78 Suffolk County Council
80 CMS Cameron McKenna
80 University of Greenwich
82 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
83 Police Scotland
85 Carmarthenshire County Council
86 Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
89 Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service
90 Bank of America Merrill Lynch
91 National Crime Agency
92 London South Bank University
93 Medway Council
93 Vision West Nottinghamshire College
96 London Borough of Islington
97 Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
97 Nottingham City Council
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