Equality and Diversity

People are at the heart of the Naval Service capability and are the most important factor in delivering operational effectiveness. 

We believe in giving people the same opportunities, what’s more, we value the individual skills and abilities that come with a diverse workforce.

Our ethos is that of diversity and inclusion; this is why Royal Navy jobs are open to everyone regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

The Naval Service’s commitment to Equality and Diversity extends beyond its legal responsibility to prevent unlawful discrimination.  

We are resolutely committed to ensuring that all Naval Service personnel shall have equality of opportunity for employment – noting that minimum exemptions from discrimination law are endorsed in order to safeguard operational effectiveness.

The only area currently not open to some of our female personnel is the Royal Marine Commandos – but we regularly review this policy. We also have some exemptions from employment based on age and disability.

Training and advancement is based solely on individual merits and abilities, and that all our people can be themselves at work and achieve their full potential in an environment that is trusting, open and inclusive.

We have a unified diversity strategy that is set by the MOD – and which recognises everyone’s unique contribution, their talents and experience. And as an employer, we have processes in place to make sure our staff are looked after. These processes reflect our belief in:

  • Treating everyone fairly, with respect and dignity.
  • Recognising that we are all different and using those differences to benefit the team.
  • Removing all forms of bias, prejudice and stereotyping that lead to unfair discrimination.
  • Eradicating bullying and harassment and valuing the contribution that every person makes to the team.
  • Ensuring that all our people feel respected, valued and supported and that they play an essential role in the organisation.

The Naval Service Core Values of Commitment, Courage, Discipline, Respect for Others, Integrity and Loyalty are our basic standards. Moral courage and appropriate strong leadership will always be supported by the Command. 

We believe our people should be able to work in an environment free from intimidation, humiliation, harassment or abuse so we ask all Royal Navy personnel to read the comprehensive guidance on Diversity and Inclusion – and understand what we expect of them in the workplace. 

Diversity, Inclusion and You Booklet (PDF 3.1MB)

The First Sea Lord and the Navy Board are committed to making sure that the Royal Navy provides you with an environment that is disciplined and fair, and in which the principles of Diversity and Inclusion are fundamental parts of leadership. You can read the full statement here:

First Sea Lord's Diversity and Inclusion Directive (PDF 243KB)

Internal organisations

If you would like support about any diversity and inclusion matter there are a number of internal organisations you can contact:

External organisations

If you would like advice from an external body, there are a number of organisations you can turn to. These include: