London | Britain’s MI6 spy agency is wooing middle-aged women to bring more inclusivity to its ranks. The UKs Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is even advertising on popular parental website for women called Mumsnet to widen its recruitment network.
The move is part of a drive to recruit more mid-career women, which includes offering more flexible hours and support for those returning after having children. British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee had called on the security services to create a better gender balance among their employees and the latest report released this week looks to address that.
SIS has also begun to recognise and reward officers who demonstrate inclusivity and is publicising this across the organisation, the report said. Women make up just over 38 per cent of all MI6 staff and 41.6 per cent at MI5, where 46 per cent of new employees were female, a rise of five per cent.
At the spy listening centre based in Cheltenham, GCHQ, changes to maths recruitment saw the number of applications from women rise to about 40 per cent.