Pay attention, 007, the real gadget master of Her Majesty’s finest is a woman.
As revealed by head of MI6, Sir Alex Younger (possessing the now debunked codename ‘C’), the image of Q in the James Bond films played by the likes of Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese, and Ben Whishaw is no longer true to life.
The Guardian reports that Younger delivered the news during his keynote speech at the Women in IT Awards, appealing for more females to enter the spy service. “If any of you would like to join us … the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman,” he said.
The MI6 chief also suggested old spying stereotypes should be hung, drawn and quarter-mastered, outlining one of his priorities is to recruit talent from a diverse pool and to “get over and see through the Bond thing”
“The more different people you have in the room, in these high-pressure circumstances in which we operate, the better the decisions. So success for me is a deeper, broader range of technological skills in MI6 and more diversity, in particular more women,” he added.
Although admitting the popularity of the 007 character makes “all of our opponents think there’s an MI6 officer behind every bush and that we’re 10,000 times larger than we actually are”, Younger said the gun-blazing image of Her Majesty’s secret service is doing more damage than, well, James Bond could.
“There’s a problem because it leads to a stereotype which is of a particular kind or a particular sort of person that will join MI6 – whether they’re really posh or going to Oxford or whatever it is,” he explained.
“The issue for me is that stands in the way of something that I regard as being so important which is that we can reach into every community in Britain and make sure that we get the people that are the best regardless of their background.”
So, while there’s no guarantee the films will portray you accurately, you can apply for a career spying job here.