Britain needs more women as spies — and it could do worse than look to recruit them on popular parenting website Mumsnet.
That’s according to a report released Thursday by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.
The report recommends targeting women, including mothers and those who are middle-aged or mid-career, to help break through “the permafrost” of men in middle management “who have a very traditional male mentality and outlook.”
The idea that a new cohort of British spies could be signed up via Mumsnet, more usually associated with debates on pregnancy, childcare and homemaking, may surprise some.
But lawmaker Hazel Blears, a committee member, said recruiting more women to the three intelligence and security agencies the committee oversees is a crucial way to change the intelligence agencies’ sometimes hidebound culture.
The current setup fosters “a management culture which rewards those who speak the loudest or are aggressive in pursuing their career and does not fully recognise the value of a more consultative, collaborative approach,” she said.
But women’s life experience and other qualities should not be overlooked, she said.