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Herbert Smith Freehills has launched ground-breaking Global Transitioning Guidelines, affirming its commitment to transgender (trans*) employees. The Guidelines form a global policy framework to support employees as they transition, and to ensure that inclusion of trans* employees is acknowledged across the firm.

The Guidelines provide guidance to the trans* individual regarding navigating their gender transition in the workplace, as well as a summary of gender diversity and identity terminology and definitions. These are an important part of the framework, as education is a key component of the firm’s ongoing commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.

The Guidelines also provide practical guidance for human resources professionals and leaders within the firm, along with steps to create a transitioning support plan for individuals.

Justin D’Agostino, Global Head of Disputes & Regional Managing Partner, Asia, is the executive sponsor of the firm’s IRIS Network. He discussed the importance of the guidelines, commenting:

“We are a trans* inclusive workplace, and these Guidelines ensure that trans* employees are treated with the same respect and understanding in every office across our global network. I am proud of the commitment the firm and IRIS Network is making to our colleagues, and am grateful that we are able reflect on the importance of valuing every individual as their true and whole self.”

“The transgender community faces ongoing discrimination and in launching these guidelines we are acknowledging the ongoing impact of transphobia on the everyday lives of our transgender colleagues and clients and the importance of creating a global workplace that is safe and supportive.”

In developing the Guidelines, the firm sought advice from LGBT* advocacy groups, including trans*formation in the UK and Pride in Diversity in Australia. The Guidelines reflect input from the trans* community and leaders in best practice diversity and inclusion policy.

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Claire Watts

Claire Watts, Communications Manager