Ministers believe that this will help MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to better fight against terrorism and other threats.
They have been advertising widely including on Mumsnet after a report by MPs which identified a gender imbalance in the intelligence community (Women currently make up 38% of MI6 staff and 42% of MI5 staff. Not a bad proportion I would have thought given the nature of the work)
They are looking for women with high levels of emotional intelligence rather than focussing on standard qualifications. They are also offering flexible hours and child-care support. Not a return to the days of Mata Hari!
So no more cold war warriors. No room for the Harry Palmers and Smileys as described in the post war espionage literature. But it makes sense as there is evidence that adding women to teams can increase the group’s IQ levels.
And this new diversity initiative should come as no surprise. MI5 comes in at No. 7 in Stonewall’s Top 100 gay-friendly workplaces and GCHQ prides itself on its neuro-diversity