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Diversity and inclusion

Sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTQ+) at Freshfields

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.

LGBTQ+ rights are important to us. Freshfields was a founding member of Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champions programme, and featured as a Top Global Employer for five years in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. 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 LGBTQ+ Lawyers and Allies Network (LLAN), which aims to promote LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 trans (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 Halo Champions globally.

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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