First 100 Years of Women in Law with Project Founder Dana Denis–Smith : LawyerFair Daily Podcast

3rd September 2015
Who you are is really important – you’ve got to trust yourself

Dana, founder of First 100 Years, talks to Andrew Weaver about the project

Founder of the First 100 Years project Dana Denis-Smith spoke to Andrew Weaver, CEO of, about the digital project. In their interview, Dana and Andrew talk about the origins of the idea, how far women have progressed, how far we have to go, and our upcoming events SPARK21 and ‘In Conversation’ series.

Part of the beginnings of First 100 Years, Dana explains, stemmed from how, as a woman in the legal profession, she didn’t feel a sense of history, which can be so vital. This ‘sense of heritage we can identify with will make us stay longer in the profession’.

What fascinates Dana most, she tells Andrew, is the personal heritages of pioneering women, and how their anecdotes have shaped the way these women have lived their lives:

For me, it’s about empowering people through the choices they have rather than being held back. Creating role models around these choices is really important. We can create out ideal character around which we can create and shape our own role models [from them].

So how far have we come? Dana stresses that we must not forget the progress that has been made. Equally, though, there is much still to change – ‘women in England weren’t allowed in their own professional Reading Room until 1977 but Soviet Russia sent the first woman into space in 1963’. The First 100 Years project honours this progress and inspires this change.

The podcast offers listeners a chance to really explore the motivations and origins of the First 100 Years project, our up and coming events, and a wonderful take-home message from the founder, Dana:

Who you are is really important – you’ve got to trust yourself
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