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Every Day Gender Equality (EDGE) Commitment

Encouraging small steps to make big changes on gender equality

Launched in November 2018, the Freshfields Every Day Gender Equality (or EDGE) Commitment is a powerful initiative developed by our Women’s Network in London in collaboration with colleagues across the firm. EDGE aims to promote gender equality across the firm.

Inclusion and diversity form the core of Freshfields culture. We are passionate about ensuring everyone has the opportunity reach their potential and it’s encouraging that in many locations our legal and business services teams are broadly gender-balanced.

However, we recognise that there is more to be done. Despite some recent progress, women make up less than a fifth of our global partnership. Improving gender balance at all levels across the firm and to build a work environment that is fully inclusive for all is a priority.

EDGE is one of the ways we are promoting dialogue, action and positive behavioural change.

Spearheaded by associates in our London Women’s Network, Jenny Leahy and Chantelle Nicholas, the initiative aims to empower our people to take very practical, everyday actions in their working lives that will cause incremental, tangible changes that will in turn foster true equality. More than 2,000 people across the firm have signed up to EDGE, committing to 10 every day actions.

Claire Wills, Managing Partner of Freshfields’ London office, says: “Promoting diversity and inclusion across our business and across the wider legal profession is an absolute priority for us. While we still have more to do in this space, I am proud of the initiatives, programmes and efforts that we have underway and of commitment that there is across our teams to building a culture of inclusion.”

The London Women’s Network stated that: “We have set out to deliver tangible change across the firm by encouraging everyone to take steps in their daily working lives to promote gender equality and inclusion. The EDGE Commitment has built great momentum within the firm and we are looking forward to continuing the conversations with clients as well as colleagues in the industry.”

This initiative, focused on gender equality, is aligned to our other inclusion commitments and intended as a catalyst for change for the benefit of all.