MI6 has announced plans to recruit almost a thousand spies to fight global terrorism, with a focus on employing more women and ethnic minorities.
Spy chiefs are keen to reflect the British population with their employees, and mirror the countries and communities they are trying to understand, including Islamic State supporters operating in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The announcement comes after calls from MPs earlier this year to recruit more women.
In March 2015, Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee reported that only 37 per cent of intelligence agency staff were women, whilst only 19 per cent of senior civil servant positions were held by women.
By 2020, the force is expected to boost its numbers from 2,500 intelligence officers and analysts to nearly 3,500.
The increase of almost 40% is similar to the rise in numbers at MI5 following the July 7th terrorist attacks in 2005.
Whilst speaking at a conference in Washington, Alex Younger, head of MI6 described the digital age as an "existential threat and a golden opportunity".