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Diversity and inclusion

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 27 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 five years in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Additionally, Senior Partner Georgia Dawson received their 2019 Global Senior Champion award.

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). Counsel and Head of Asia Sanctions, Alexander Dmitrenko, is the co-president of LLAN, aiming to promote LGBTQ+ equality in Japan, specifically focusing on same-sex marriage. Additionally, we were awarded a gold medal by the wwP (work with Pride) PRIDE Index in 2019 and 2020 for our continued workplace inclusion efforts in Japan.

Elsewhere, in 2019 we were named a silver-standard organisation in the biannual Hong Kong LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion Index organised by Community Business. We are proud to have since reached gold-standard in 2021. 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.

Awards

Top 50 LGBT+ Ally Executive 2020

Georgia Dawson

 

Top 100 LGBT+ Future Leader 2020

Alexander Dmitrenko

Community Business’s Hong Kong Top Employers for LGBT+ Inclusion 2021

Top Global Employer 2020

Japan Pride Index 2020

Related case studies