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Some firms stand out for their diversity and inclusion efforts, according to interviews with legal directors

Dana Denis-Smith on her journey from Linklaters lawyer to founder of a multi-million pound company

In this video interview, Geoffrey Williams, Director/Head of Diversity & Inclusion, EMEA, at Thomson Reuters, speaks to Dana Denis-Smith, CEO at Obelisk Support, about leadership and gender equality in the legal industry.

In this inaugural list, the FT — in partnership with data provider Statista and supported by law firm Mishcon de Reya — has sought to find fast growing UK companies that are also making an impact on their industry, or wider society. Obelisk Support makes the list as a diversity leader.

“We have come from zero to the majority – that is massive,” says Dana Denis-Smith, chief executive of Obelisk Support and founder of the First 100 Years project, which charts and celebrates the history of women in the profession.

The legal services industry has long been associated with traditional processes, guided by ancient precedences as opposed to innovative systems. Despite the slow innovation in comparison to other industries, in recent years legal companies are making significant strides.

Last year the firm’s partnership round was 92 per cent male, with just two women promoted. The legal sector continues to struggle with gender equality with the partner ranks at elite law firms still heavily male-dominated. Dana Denis-Smith the founder of First 100 Years, a project marking the history of women in the legal profession, described A&O’s promotion numbers this year as “particularly bad”. “It is a self-perpetuating problem, men like to cultivate younger men because they identify with them,” she said.

Obelisk Support, the London-based leading provider of alternative legal services, has been named as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies by the Financial Times. The FT 1000 in association with Statista is one of the business world’s most respected league tables, ranking companies from 31 European countries based on the highest compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2016. At Obelisk Support, we are a new entry in the table, ranking an impressive 233 overall. Obelisk Support is the only UK business in the legal industry, one in only three legal industry finalists overall and the 43rd highest placed UK company out of […]

Telling the startup experience like it really is – entrepreneur Vicky Brock and guests discuss a new listener problem each week in honest, unfiltered style. Because there are no mistakes that someone else hasn’t already made – Podcast with Obelisk Support CEO Dana Denis-Smith on flexible working in practice and scale

In her weekly Lawyer of the Week podcast, Pamela Deneuve interviews Obelisk Support CEO Dana Denis-Smith on her journey to entrepreneurship and business success in the legal industry – Pamela Deneuve podcast

On International Women’s Day 2018, Dana Denis-Smith, Obelisk Support CEO, talks about preserving the legacy of pioneer female lawyers with The First 100 Years project – The Financial Times reports on The First Hundred Years

On International Women’s Day 2018, Obelisk Support joins two hundred business leaders, entrepreneurs, Members of Parliament, academics and The Telegraph in calling on the Government to boost female entrepreneurship in Britain – The Telegraph reports.

The 35 Women Under 35 alumna is using flexible legal talent to bring outsourcing back onshore – Management Today interviews Obelisk Support CEO Dana Denis-Smith

Women are advancing in the legal profession, but sexist stereotypes may persist barring them from many of the top jobs – The Financial Times covers gender issues and interviews Obelisk Support CEO Dana Denis-Smith in the Legal Innovation report

Top outfits recognised for creating workplaces and cultures that are inclusive of women – Legal Cheek covers The Times Top 50 Employers for Women, with a special reference for Obelisk as the only non-major magic circle business in the list.

The First 100 Years interview with Dame Linda Dobbs makes the pages of Legal Cheek – sparking 1,000s of new video viewings on You Tube

Frances Gibb explores the story of June Venters QC, the first woman solicitor to be made a QC, as part of the First 100 Years project – charting the journey of women in law since 1919.

Jo Glynn-Smith interviews a Dana to find out how she made it to the top, and gets tips on maintaining a successful work-life balance.

Legal Week deputy editor Charlotte Edmond interviews Obelisk CEO and founder Dana Denis-Smith.

Dana Denis-Smith was named as the legal sector’s ‘Outstanding Innovator’ at The Legal Innovation Awards organized by Legal Week. The awards uncover and celebrate groundbreaking innovation in the delivery of legal services. This year’s awards – titled “Beyond Theory; Celebrating creative excellence in the legal profession” – set out to “recognise and reward the people who are driving the legal profession forward by applying imagination and ingenuity and doing things differently.”

The Obelisk story reaches the US, as The Wall Street Journal reports on how Obelisk is getting talented women with children back into the workplace.

CNN bring the Obelisk to a huge international audience with case studies showing how former City lawyers were working from home flexibly to fit in with family commitments.

Dana Denis-Smith talks about her working life, from journalist, to lawyer to innovator and entrepreneur starting and growing Obelisk Support.