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Annette is the driving force behind Freshfields’ Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, aiming to address the disproportionate underrepresentation of Black and Black mixed-race men from less privileged backgrounds in large commercial law firms and other City institutions. The scheme brings together Freshfields, big business and universities in a unique initiative, which is run by volunteers from Freshfields and its clients, with more than 130 members contributing to the scheme’s recruitment, development programme and mentoring. Learnings from the scheme have influenced other areas of the firm, including enhanced awareness around unconscious biases, and diversity and inclusion best practices. Beyond the scheme, Annette co-leads Freshfields’ Black Affinity Network, mentors BAME colleagues at the firm and beyond, facilitates discussions with senior leadership, hosts events and is a driver for frank discussions on issues such as reporting on and closing the ethnicity pay gap. Externally, Annette sits on the board of PRIME, the legal sector charity which forms an alliance among law firms committed to improving access to those from less socially mobile backgrounds to the legal profession through work experience. She and the Scheme have been widely cited in the press as innovative and inspiring. Annette supports by charitable donation arts projects that bring on new theatre writing and productions by BAME artists.

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