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Diversity and inclusion

Sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBT+)

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.

LGBT+ rights are important to us. Freshfields was a founding member of Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champions programme, and featured as a Top Global Employer in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Freshfields was the first Magic Circle firm to enter the top 100 of the UK Workplace Equality Index in 2014 and Freshfields Asia Managing Partner Georgia Dawson received the 2019 Global Senior Champion Award – only a single person each year can hold this prestigious accolade.

In 2016, Freshfields Tokyo co-founded (with Goldman Sachs, Linklaters and Morrison Foerster) an LGBT Lawyers and Allies Network (LLAN), which aims to promote LGBT+ equality in Japan, specifically focusing on same-sex marriage.

In 2019 we were awarded a gold medal by the wwP (work with Pride) PRIDE Index for our workplace inclusion efforts in Japan. In 2019 we were named a silver-standard organisation in the biannual Hong Kong LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index organised by Community Business. Also in Asia, we were closely involved with the launch of the Asia-Pacific chapter of Global Equality Caucus in 2019.

We have a thriving global network, Halo, for our lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT+) colleagues, while our Champions network enables those who do not necessarily identify as LGBT+ to actively show their support for LGBT+ equality. Pride is celebrated across our networks with global and regional events, and many of our offices across the world also recognise IDAHOBIT (the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia).

We are proud to express our support for the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business. We believe these standards are reflected in the firm’s existing commitment to being a responsible business, including much of the firm’s pro bono work, alongside the endeavours of Halo and Halo Champions. We also have trans equality and gender expression global guidance in place, providing a framework for best practice and an expression of how we, globally, endeavour to treat our people.

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