Assembly Speaker, Monday 29 January – Lieutenant Commander Hannah Mackenzie.
LGBT, Women and the Navy
On Monday 5 February, as part of LGBT month, we invited Hannah Mackenzie to talk to the Sixth Form in our Monday assembly.
Hannah, who was accompanied by a colleague from the Royal Navy, gave us an insight into how her own career in the navy had evolved, following on from graduating in law from Durham university, and how she came to work with Compass, the body working for the LGBT community in the Navy, as a support network, by informing new policies and by being a diversity champion.
Hannah explained how much very hard work by her predecessors had been put in for the acceptance of LGBT individuals into the navy to bring about the change in the law in 2003, to stop discrimination against this group. She feels that the navy has taken great strides ‘to achieve a working environment in which all personnel feel comfortable, valued and empowered to fulfil their career potential.’
Hannah was very proud about the fact that the navy has been in the top 100 for Stonewall Diversity Champion for the past five years (Highest 10th in 2016) and that they have marched in Pride in full military uniform since 2011.
She told us that even though, the majority of top personnel are still straight white men, there has been a significant shift and the navy is a much more inclusive and progressive organisation to work in, and is always looking at ways to further improve.
During the Q&A Hannah was asked what she thought of the huge amount of money the government has spent on the two aircraft carriers - the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales – the largest ships to be built for the Royal Navy. She outlined what she saw as the the importance of being able to protect the country from any foreign aggression, but admitted that, in her opinion, one would have been enough!
Jake - Senior Prefect