THE FIGHT for unqualified acceptance of diversity in the workplace has always been an important yet difficult uphill battle, however more organizations are now stepping up to the plate and embracing heterogeneity.
International legal practitioners Herbert Smith Freehills have shown their commitment to the highest standards of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) workplace inclusion, and have been officially praised as such by the Pride in Diversity workplace program.
The firm was honoured with the Achievement Award for being the most improved employer at Pride in Diversity’s annual Australian Workplace Equality Index Definitive National Benchmark and Awards held in Sydney last month, and was ranked as the 12th most inclusive Australian employer.
Brisbane partner and co-convenor of the Herbert Smith Freehills LGBTI Network Peter Smith (pictured) says the Brisbane office has been an active contributor to the organizations admirable reputation, with all employees championing core values of collaboration and teamwork.
“In all areas of our work, whether legal, administrative or financial, we work as teams and recognize that diverse teams generate the best results,” says Smith.
“Our partners, senior management and our staff all embrace diversity and inclusion initiatives, and certainly did so when we launched our LGBT network in February 2013 for partners and staff who identify as LGBT and their supporters.”
The firm’s network aims to increase awareness of LGBTI issues, and has grown to incorporate more than 25 per cent of Brisbane partners and staff as members.
“The LGBT network has hosted several social events to publicise the network and to reassure our staff that they are encouraged to be their authentic selves at work and they will be supported,” says Smith.
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