Diversity and inclusion
Together, we are creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can achieve their potential.
Creating an environment where difference is valued, and people feel they belong is important to us. We recognise that diversity and inclusion is central to making us a stronger firm.
Our diversity and inclusion work is aligned with our purpose and values, responsible business and people strategies. We are focused on ensuring everyone can belong, engage and excel:
- Belong – To build an inclusive culture, where everyone can contribute and excel. This includes a focus on everyday behaviours, allyship and our mental health and wellbeing strategy.
- Engage – We aim to increase engagement with our colleagues, clients and broader community to drive change.
- Excel – To enhance the career experience of diverse professionals, and to recruit, retain and promote diverse talent to senior roles.
Our targeted initiatives, impactful external partnerships, and engaged employee networks help to build on our inclusive culture. We have made progress, but we know we still have more to do.
Our five-year diversity targets and commitments reflect our commitment in recent years and, in recognising that we need to go much further, support our desire to accelerate the pace of change.
We will continue to evolve our efforts as we recognise the complexity and intersectional nature of diversity.
Our focus areas
Our networks are vitally important to our D&I strategy, bringing together colleagues who identify as part of an under-represented group, and those who are allies to drive change. They play an active role in shaping our priorities, sharing feedback, providing support and collaborating across networks and locations. Our networks continue to evolve, but currently include those listed below:
Asian Affinity Network (UK) and Asian/Pacific/South Asian/American (APSAA) (US)
Both are committed to representing and serving the needs of our Asian communities through solidarity, advocacy and engagement.
Black Employee Resource Group (BERG) (US)
BERG have been active in a range of efforts including recognising Black History Month in the US and advising on where we make investment as a firm to advance racial justice.
Campos Frescos (US)
For colleagues interested in Latin American and Hispanic cultures hosting a number of events and networking opportunities.
An opportunity for colleagues to learn more, network and provide support to others.
Freshfields Enabled (UK and CE)
Enabled brings together colleagues with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions, those with caring responsibilities and allies, with the aim of working together to become a more inclusive workplace.
Gender Equality Network (GEN) (Manchester)
Manchester’s GEN rebranded in 2018, to promote more dialogue around gender in the workplace and the important role everyone has in making the firm more inclusive for all.
Black Affinity Network (BAN)
BAN sees employees of Black African and Black Afro-Caribbean heritage from across Freshfields come together from across the globe for professional development and networking. BAN supports our commitment to broadening Black representation at all levels of the firm and creating a culture of inclusion for all.
Halo (LGBTQ+) and Halo Champions
Halo is a network for all LGBTQ+ colleagues and is one of Freshfields’ largest employee networks with more than 100 members across 20 of our 27 offices. We also have more than 400 Halo Champions across the firm who do not (openly) identify as LGBTQ+ but want to support their colleagues and promote LGBTQ+ inclusion at work.
Set up to promote awareness and celebrate Jewish religious practices, culture and life throughout the firm, and to provide a community of support for Jewish colleagues across the globe.
Mental Health Affinity Network (MHAN) (UK)
The MHAN supports members and Freshfields colleagues through raising awareness about the importance of normalising conversations around and promoting good mental health.
This network provides a space for Muslim colleagues to come together across the firm.
Social Mobility Network (UK)
The network aims to promote inclusion by increasing awareness and understanding around social mobility, supporting people to connect and share experiences, and enabling people to work together to break down some of the many hurdles – both visible and invisible – that people can face when seeking to join, and build a career, in the legal profession.
Valor and Valor Champions (US)
Our employee network for veteran and ex-military employees.
Our various regional networks engage in a wide variety of activities, including mentoring, networking and professional development skills training. They seek to represent and amplify the voices of women at work, and address a range of issues affecting women.
Role Model Lists 2021
HERoesTop Female Executives list 2021
WILEF Gold Standard Certification, 2020 and 2021
Women in Law Empowerment Forum
Top 75 Employer
Employer Index 2021
Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives list 2022
Tim Wilkins and Annette Byron