LGBT equal rights charity Stonewall has declared the Royal Navy to be one of the UK’s top 100 LGBT-friendly employers, ranking at number 15 on the Workplace Equality Index (WEI) for 2019.

Stonewall index and benchmarking manager Emma Kosmin told Naval Technology: ‘The Royal Navy and the Royal Marines’ success is a testament to all their hard work and dedication to workplace inclusion over the last year.

“With their support, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are accepted without exception.’

In July 2018, Royal Marines took part in London Pride for the first time. Sailors at the event walked through crowds of hundreds of thousands led by Royal Marines from HMS Collingwood.

Royal Navy Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Tony Radakin said: “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 WEI this year.”

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"Growing our position in the Stonewall WEI is a ringing endorsement of who we are as an organisation."

Both the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines were lauded for their commitment to equal treatment of LGBT staff in 2019. Stonewall has considered the Royal Navy to be a Diversity Champion since 2005. The navy supports LGBT employees through Compass, its own gender identity and sexual orientation network.

Compass co-chair Commander Samantha Truelove added: “Growing our position in the Stonewall WEI is a ringing endorsement of who we are as an organisation. 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.”

For its top 100 LGBT-friendly employers index, Stonewall recorded that more than 445 employees entered into the WEI to demonstrate their commitment to equality. Each entrant had to prove their commitments in ten policy areas, such as the use of specialised networking groups, and their engagement with the wider LGBT community.