I joined SIS in 2006, having worked in various roles in the private sector. I saw an advert for MI6 in a newspaper and thought I’d give it a go! I knew nothing about SIS, but was keen to work in the public sector because I wanted a job that provided financial stability, and the opportunity to do something meaningful. One of the first things I noticed about SIS was a certain “family” atmosphere; colleagues are interested in you as a person, and there is an emphasis on taking care of each other. There is also the opportunity to do a variety of different jobs, both in the UK and abroad, and to develop skills.
I joined SIS as an admin support officer and then transferred into a role that allowed me to use specialist skills I learnt before joining the office. I’m also encouraged to keep my specialist skills current through in-house learning. I’ve attended a range of training courses, including a programme aimed at developing female leaders, which I found to be a huge confidence boost.
I really enjoy my work, and I am part of a supportive team who work in a variety of ways, including part-time, compressed hours and working from home. As a woman, I did notice that the gender split in SIS was not equal when I joined in 2006. I have been very active in the gender equality group, looking at issues such as shared parental leave and mentoring. We are a more diverse organisation now, and there are several staff network groups helping to ensure that SIS remains an inclusive place to work.