Herbert Smith Freehills has announced its sponsorship of this year’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
Herbert Smith Freehills was ranked the top law firm in Australia for LGBTI inclusion by Pride in Diversity in 2014 and was awarded most improved employer and the 12th most inclusive employer for LGBTI individuals.
The firm’s Australia managing partner, Jason Ricketts, said the sponsorships allow the firm to show its support for diversity.
“Sponsorships like this provide another way in which we can demonstrate our commitment to diversity,” he said. “As a firm we recognise the value that diverse perspectives and experiences can bring to our ability to innovate, solve complex problems and provide outstanding service.”
The sponsorship coincides with the second anniversary of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Australian LGBTI Network.
“In 2013 we established our Australian LGBTI Network, which has quickly become part of the firm’s cultural fabric and attracted more than 280 members,” said Ricketts.
“We have provided our people with training about LGBTI inclusion and held a large number of LGBTI social and educational events. To ensure we were being inclusive of our transgender people we recently changed the wording of a number of our policies and launched a transitioning guide.”
Ricketts said the sponsorship is an important step for the firm and that it will cement the work the firm has already been doing in the LGBTI community.
“This year we wanted to build upon our existing work and felt that sponsoring these two outstanding organisations was another good way to give back to the community,” he said.
“Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond the firm. We are proud to have contributed to the LGBTI community for a number of years through pro bono legal work and mentoring with Out for Sydney.”