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Diversity & Inclusion

A mix of minds

At GCHQ, we have truly brilliant people working to solve complex problems and keep the country, and our interests abroad, safe. But individual talents are always amplified by brilliantly diverse teams. I truly believe that bringing together people with a mix of skills, backgrounds and perspective enables new ideas to flourish and gives us an edge. In my eyes, inclusion is not a nice to have, it is mission critical. We recognise that we have a way to go until our workforce represents the country we serve, but I’m committed to the journey.

Anne Keast-Butler, Director GCHQ

We believe that with the right mix of minds, anything is possible. It’s just one of the reasons why we strive to be as inclusive as possible. It means that no matter who you are, GCHQ is an incredibly open, supportive and welcoming place to work. Find out more about the initiatives we have in place, the awards we have won and the kind of people who make us who we are.

Don't just fit in

Watch Cody discover just what it’s like to work at GCHQ, how we value individuality and exactly why your perspective, personality and skills count.

Affinity groups

We have a huge range of staff-led affinity groups that provide support to individuals and help to shape our policies. They also host educational events, raise money for charities and do outreach work.

DEN - our Disabled Employee Network ensures that our offices, IT and ways of working are accessible for everyone.

GWN - our GCHQ Women's Network for those who want to champion women's equality at all levels.

RANGE - our network for people of any age, focusing on reducing bias that people may experience wherever they fall on the age spectrum.

BELIEF - open to any member of GCHQ who has an interest in faith or belief issues.

Pride - our network providing support and representation for the LGBTQ+ community

REACH - our network for people from any background, focusing on Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage.

We also have an ever-growing range of smaller sub-networks dedicated to tackling specific issues and supporting certain groups. These include Women in Tech, Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental leave, the Menopause Support Group, a Carers Network, the Cancer Support Group, a Mental Health Support Group, and a group for people with Asperger's, Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.

The freedom to be you

Our culture is all about giving you the right support, the right skills and the right working environment. While we're all about teamwork, we also give you the freedom to achieve your own goals and to be yourself. Watch our video to find out more about working here.

Awards & achievements

We’re committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce and although we have work still to do, we’re proud of what we have achieved so far. We have Board-level champions on gender, race, disability, and sexual orientation, as well as senior champions supporting mental health, menopause and other subjects.

We’re a Stonewall diversity champion and were ranked in their Top 100 Employers in 2018. We've developed best practice support for our trans and non-binary colleagues and delivered LGBTQ+ Awareness Courses.

We have a Silver ranking in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index and have established a team of Mental Health First Aiders across the organisation to support staff.

In 2021 we ranked 65 in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index, reflecting our ongoing efforts to develop support for staff from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

We’re also a Disability Confident Leader. It means we have a great workplace adjustment process for people with disabilities, long term health conditions and cognitive processing differences. This includes our award-winning dyslexia and dyspraxia toolkits.

I came to GCHQ as a dad, but now I’m a mum."
Technical Compliance Lead

I wanted a job that mattered, so I was really pleased (and a bit surprised) when I found out I was joining GCHQ! When I became part of the team, I realised on day one what lovely colleagues I had.

Everything in my personal life has changed since then. I’m no longer a shy dad - I’m now a mum. I had so much support at work as I went through my gender affirmation process.

My future now looks a little different, but my wife and I look forward to being mischievous old ladies together!

13 years of challenges, development and support."
Corporate Services Manager

At uni, I started studying Natural Sciences, but I switched to Pharmacology in my first year. After a tricky breakup, I was unsure about my career path. So I worked in the Civil Service before applying to GCHQ. Since joining, I’ve worked in a huge range of roles in both London and Cheltenham. And, 13 years on, I’ve met my husband, started a family, worked part-time and taken on a management position. I’m still finding new ways to challenge and develop myself here!

My native language skills have taken me round the world."
Community Liaison Lead

I was born in Bangladesh, moved to Gloucestershire when I was three and went on to study law in Manchester. After my legal practice course ended, I found that law didn’t excite me anymore. It was actually my dad who encouraged me to apply for GCHQ. When I first started, I was a linguist using my native South Asian language skills. Now I run my own operation and have been to places like New Zealand and Canada. I can’t wait to see more of the world! 

I’ve got a job that fits my personality – and my life."
Covert Online Operator

I always had an interest in computing, however I suddenly found myself divorced, a single mum and I became homeless! I moved in with my new partner and started a degree in Computer Science. I decided to have another child, so my studies were put on hold. When I joined GCHQ, I was looking for a flexible job to fit around childcare – but they also helped me to finish my degree. And after a few different roles, I was keen to go back to my studies and GCHQ supported me through my Masters in Cyber Security. I then became a Covert Online Operator. I love this job so much because it fits my personality. I really care about protecting people and get to do that every day. Plus, with flexible working, I completely switch off at home and immerse myself in family life.