The team that led the First 100 Years project, marking the centenary in 2019 of women being allowed to enter the legal profession, has launched a new project, "The Next 100 Years", dedicated to achieving equality for women in law.
Over the next decade, a cross-profession taskforce will seek to accelerate the pace of change in the legal profession, examining the main barriers to equality and encouraging collaboration to tackle the inequality that still persists between men and women, as well as improving the visibility of women in law and supporting the women lawyers of the future.
The First 100 Years project, created to chart the progress of women in the law since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, saw the premièring of over 40 films featuring pioneering women in the legal profession, a book charting the journey of women in law, a new podcast series, a commissioned artwork which is the first hanging in the UK Supreme Court to depict a woman, and a series of guided walks around London.
Its successor project will aim at "capturing the inspirational stories of today’s pioneering women lawyers and educating the public on the legacy of the legal pioneers of the past".
Dana Denis-Smith, founder of The Next 100 Years and CEO of Obelisk Support, commented: "The First 100 Years celebrated the hard-won progress of the last 100 years and the stories of those legal pioneers that are so vital in providing a solid, positive platform for the future. Now, as we look forward to the next 100 years, we need to take action to accelerate the pace of change and remove the barriers to women’s progress still built into the legal profession.
"Many organisations in the legal world are moving in the right direction, but we don’t want to wait another 100 years for equality. The Next 100 Years project will be a force for change, bringing the profession together to look at how we can drive progress, giving visibility to the many talented women lawyers out there and supporting and inspiring those starting out in their careers."
Its first major event will be a photoshoot ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March. Expanding on last year's successful shoot, when 800 women were photographed across the country, women working in the law and men who are champions of equality are invited to venues across the UK and internationally on Thursday 5 March and Friday 6 March as part of the #FaceTheFuture campaign. Shoots will take place in London, Nottingham, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds, as well as Paris, Sydney, Singapore, Mexico City and Washington DC.
The project is funded through donations from individuals, businesses and organisations, and backed by Spark21, a charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generations of women in the profession.