Dana Denis-Smith, founder and CEO of Obelisk Support, is featuring in the prestigious ‘Work It Out’ series in Harper’s Bazaar.
Every week, Jo Glynn-Smith – the Commercial Editor at Harper’s Bazaar – interviews successful working women to find out how they made it to the top, and to get tips on maintaining a successful work-life balance.
Jo Glynn-Smith’s interview with Dana was published on January 27.
Dana talks about how she has grown Obelisk Support since 2010 into what is now the UK’s largest pool of legal talent. With clients including Goldman Sachs, Vodafone and BT, growth up by 200% and a series of awards last year ranging from The Times Top 50 Employers for Women to Dana being named Innovator of 2015 by Legal Week, Obelisk is set to lead the legal outsourcing sector in 2016 and beyond.
The interview reveals how Dana has successful combined a world-class service for clients with modern and human values around family and people.
Dana tells Harper’s Bazaar:
“I’m founder and CEO at Obelisk Support, the UK’s only legal business with a heart. We deliver legal work by using ex-City lawyers who left the profession and needed to work flexibly around their family commitments to very large corporates and law firms. Our aim is to make work ‘work’ for our clients, our lawyers and their families.”
The Work It Out interview showcases the entrepreneurial spirit behind Obelisk and its mission to “change the way the world works, one lawyer at a time.”
“I love driving change. If I think change can deliver a better outcome, I waste no time and certainly leave no stone unturned to make it happen. This makes my job very exciting, different every day and incredibly rewarding.”
Dana shares this advice with entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders: “Learn as many things as possible, because it will give you a versatile skill set which in turn will offer you the widest possible choices. Choice is empowering and liberating.”
And she gives an insight into life outside of the office, because – as Dana and Obelisk know very well – there is more to life than 9 to 5.
Dana tells Harpers where she buys her clothes, where she loves to eat ‘out and about’ in London and what she couldn’t live without. The answer is not obvious.
Harper’s Bazaar is one of the world’s leading women’s fashion magazines. First published in 1867, it is synonymous with style but increasingly, thanks to its publisher Hearst, the magazine is taking a more active role in the issues relating to working women; at home and in the office. Hearst – which also publishes major titles such as Cosmopolitan, Red, Good House Keeping and Elle – has launched a new project called Empowering Women which celebrates the lives, aspirations and achievements of British women.
Hearst UK CEO Anna Jones says:
“I feel passionately about helping improve equality for women. I believe in the power of our brands to help women achieve their goals and break down the barriers that may prevent them from doing so.”
Looking ahead to the publication of her interview in Harper’s Bazaar Dana Denis Smith said:
“I’m thrilled and flattered that my story is featuring in Harper’s Bazaar. It’s fun to sit down and think about your favourite clothes designer, and your favourite restaurant, and the treats and treasures we all enjoy. But as a business leader, an entrepreneur and someone dedicated to driving positive change for women, it’s vitally important that people see positive role models in the media, so they too can be inspired to be innovate, to create more change and be a success. It’s fantastic that Harper’s Bazaar, with all its style and reach, is embracing the issues facing working women, and I with the great things Hearst are doing through their magazines and the Empowering Women project, I hope my interview in Work It Out is the start of a long and fruitful relationship for us both. Together, we can work it out.”