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At Keltie, our commitment to an inclusive and diverse workplace is embodied by the extraordinary efforts of our Diversity, Inclusion, Charity, and Environment Committee (DICE). This team of dedicated Keltie employees is on a mission to ensure that we see real change in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability at Keltie and within the industry.

 

As DICE approaches its one-year milestone, we are proud to feature two members of the Keltie team, Danielle Menage-Jensen and Holly Jenner. They share joint leadership roles at Keltie. This dynamic duo not only contributes to the success of Keltie but also champions the values of diversity and inclusion within the legal sector.

 

In alignment with the International Women's Day (IWD) 2024 theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion,’ we sat down with Danielle and Holly to delve into their perspectives, experiences, and insights on promoting inclusion, both at Keltie and within the broader professional landscape. Together they lead and inspire Keltie’s patent services team.  They share their career journeys and provide advice to female professionals looking to embark on a career in law.

Danielle Menage-Jensen, Patent Services Manager

 

What does the IWD theme Inspire Inclusion mean to you, and how do you embody it in your professional life?

To me, inclusivity means working for a company where you are valued and respected, where not only have you been allowed to contribute to the success of the company but also to your personal development. In my professional life, I strive to ensure women feel as heard as their male counterparts and that they also have people within the management structure who they feel comfortable coming to if they are looking for advice and support.

 

What one piece of advice would you give a woman entering the legal sector?

Go after what you want! Historically, women have been told to sit quietly and not take up space. Some women can be reluctant to be vocal about what they want to get out of their careers. There’s a concern that speaking out will make you seem bossy or pushy and that will inevitably hold you back. Try to find a mentor that will help you meet your goals and if that person is not in your organisation, then look elsewhere to find someone who will listen and help you succeed. Consider attending informal networking events, such as the IP Inclusive Coffee Dates, which are specifically for women in IP.

 

Can you share an experience where you felt the impact of inclusion, either in your career or personal journey?

Last year, I was offered the opportunity to step up into a management position at Keltie. I was initially apprehensive as I didn’t see myself as a leader, and I was also concerned that I did not want my progression to be at the expense of someone else in my team with similar experience. We proposed the creation of a co-management position that would support career development for two people, increase management experience and capacity, and prevent further disruption to our team. Keltie leadership approved the proposal, showing that the organisation listens to and understands the needs of its employees. Holly and I have been working together as co-managers for the past year, with the full support of the firm and our team.

 

How can we collectively inspire a more inclusive world for women in the workplace and beyond? 

Train and promote more women into senior positions. In most cases, you need to see it to believe you can be it. If you work at a company where the majority of senior positions are held by men, you’re already being shown that it’s unlikely you’ll reach that position. However, if you join a company where you have multiple examples of women holding senior positions in management and within a partnership, it’s easier to believe that progression is possible and within your grasp. You’ll also have role models and potential mentors who can offer advice on how you can achieve your goals.

 

What do you think are the most effective steps men can take to help achieve gender equality in the workplace?

Listen. The most effective way for anyone to help with inclusivity in the workplace in any form is to listen to the people that you want to include. If they’re not there in the first place, that’s a larger issue, but if they are, sit with them and discuss what they need and how you can work together to achieve a better place for everyone to work and feel like they belong and are included.

 

What is the best advice you have been given?

This isn’t advice that I’ve been given, but advice that I’ve found very helpful. Be the type of woman that lifts other women, it’s not a competition and we need to support one another. Also, strive to be the type of woman who fights for other women in rooms that they’re not in. I particularly love that piece of advice. I carry it with me when I’m in meetings with my peers and I’ll always find ways to champion the women that aren’t there.

 

Holly Jenner, Patent Services Manager

 

How does this year’s IWD theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion’ resonate with you?

This theme is important because we want to ensure that all of our team members feel valued and appreciated. We want to make sure that everyone feels welcome in our team and in the firm as a whole. I believe that we should celebrate everyone’s individuality and allow everyone to succeed both in and outside of the workplace. Everyone deserves to be respected and given an equal chance to shine.

 

How do you inspire and advocate for inclusion within your team and Keltie?

When we hire new team members, we always base our judgment on their skills, abilities, and potential. We enjoy having lots of different personalities to create a vibrant team and encourage collaboration. During our interview process, we always stress that we value uniqueness and want everyone to feel accepted while working at Keltie. We plan to remove personal data, e.g., names, from CVs that we receive too so that there is no possibility of unconscious bias when selecting candidates.


Also, there are lots of different interests among us, so socialising is always encouraged. For example, we have a softball team that anyone is welcome to join or tag along to support. There are also many other events throughout the year that anyone is welcome to join, we always advise our team members of these and encourage participation. There is something for everyone if they wish to take part or the option to organise an activity or a new group.


At Keltie, we also try to socialise with everyone in the firm, rather than just your team or only other support staff. Friendships are often made between our attorneys and our support staff, which is very nice to see.

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women?

A lot of women face the choice between having a successful career and having a family. We are lucky at Keltie, as it can be possible to have both, as can be seen from some of our partners and senior associates.

 

What benefits do you feel from working at a firm like Keltie with a gender-balanced partnership? 

Our partners are compassionate and understanding. They understand the need to sometimes be flexible to allow women to continue with their careers after having a family if that is the path that someone wishes to choose. The partners also do not overlook women taking on senior positions or management positions; for example, Danielle and I were asked to take on the role of managing the Patent Services department.

 

Tell us about your most inspiring female role models

Kelly Holmes has always been a role model of mine. She showed a lot of strength and discipline to win two Olympic golds, having previously spent time in the military. I found this very inspirational growing up due to my interest in athletics. She has also set up a charity to help young people who have had to face challenges become successful and have a brighter future. She manages to achieve her own goals while still wanting to help others.

Claire Lomas attended one of our recent events and gave a very inspirational speech on how she has managed to still achieve great success after an accident that left her paralysed from the chest down, such as completing a marathon in a robotic suit. She shows that so much is possible, no matter your circumstances.

 

What is the best advice you have been given?

Always listen and see things from another point of view. This has been helpful in the workplace, as it can help when solving problems.

Continue reading about Inspiring Inclusion: The Journey with Danielle and Holly
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