Diversity and Inclusion Annual Review 2023
Our progress this year
Sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTQ+)
Our wide range of initiatives are aimed at building a welcoming, positive and supportive environment so that everyone is comfortable to bring their whole self to work.
Halo is our thriving global network for our LGBTQ+ colleagues, while our Champions network enables those who do not necessarily identify as LGBTQ+ to actively show their support for LGBTQ+ equality. Halo is one of the firm’s largest employee networks with more than 100 members across 20 of our 28 offices. We also have more than 400 Champions across the firm.
We are a founding member of Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champions programme, and have featured as a Top Global Employer for six years, achieving a Silver Award in 2022. Senior Partner Georgia Dawson received their 2019 Global Senior Champion award, and in 2022, we were additionally awarded a Special Recognition Award for our global pro bono efforts.
We are members of Out Leadership, the global LGBTQ+ business network, and we support the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business – we believe these standards are reflected in our commitments, including much of the firm’s pro bono work, alongside the endeavours of Halo and Halo Champions.
Across Asia, Freshfields Tokyo co-founded (with Goldman Sachs, Linklaters and Morrison Foerster) an LGBTQ+ Lawyers and Allies Network (LLAN). Additionally, we were awarded a gold medal by the wwP (work with Pride) PRIDE Index in 2019, 2020 and 2022 for our continued workplace inclusion efforts in Japan.
In 2021 we were named a gold-standard organisation in the biennial Hong Kong LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index organised by Community Business, having achieved silver and bronze in previous iterations. We were also closely involved with the launch of the Asia-Pacific chapter of Global Equality Caucus in 2019.
Gender expression and non-binary inclusion
Internally, we have shared global guidance on trans equality and gender expression, including a policy on the use of pronouns, providing a framework for best practice and an expression of how we endeavour to treat our people.
We have publicly highlighted our support of trans colleagues, clients and communities by signing the US Business Statement for Transgender Equality and in the UK by signing a public statement to highlight our belief that trans rights are human rights.
Georgia Dawson and Raquel Flórez