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Royal Navy

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

We value the diversity (skills, abilities, backgrounds, needs and characteristics) that our people bring. Our ethos is that of equality and inclusion; it welcomes and appreciates differences in sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

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*), 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.

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 and our people should be able to work in an environment free from intimidation, humiliation, harassment or abuse.  This is a fundamental management principle to provide for better performance and motivation, and to achieve the teamwork that is vital to our operational effectiveness.

Naval Service personnel are provided with comprehensive guidance on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion:

PDF file   Equality, Diversity & You booklet 

First Sea Lord and the Navy Board are committed to ensuring that the Naval Service provides an environment that is disciplined and fair, and in which the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are embedded as fundamental components of leadership:

PDF file   Equality and Diversity - First Sea Lord's Directive


The Naval Service has a number of internal organisations, groups, networks and links to a number of external organisations who are able to provide additional support and advice:

Internal organisations:

Equality and Diversity in the MoD

Naval Service Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Forum

Religious or belief forums, societies, groups and minority support networks

Civilian Chaplains to the Military (Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh)

External organisations:

Equality and Human Rights Commission




Race for Opportunity

Opportunity Now

Service Complaints Commissioner

FAQs and Myths

Parents Guardians teachers FAQs

Parents Guardians Teachers some myths


*Female personnel are currently excluded from serving as Royal Marines Commandos and, for medical reasons, from serving in submarines. Both policies are regularly reviewed. The NS also has exemptions from employment law on the grounds of Age and Disability.


Updated: 8 Sep 2010