Being a woman can sometimes feel like banging your head against a brick wall. As much as the world makes the right noises in conversations about gender equality, diversity and women’s rights, barely a week seems to go by when something dramatic happens that reminds us so little has changed. 

Whether it’s abortion rights being stripped away in Texas (thank you, U.S. Republican lawmakers, for reminding us just how precarious female bodily autonomy truly is), or another London woman, Sabina Nessa, killed while walking (reminding us to scuttle home early before the autumnal dark evenings draw in), each of these and so many other smaller, daily incidents chip away at any sense of hope that the world is improving at all when it comes to protecting half of its population. Focusing on the legal industry, this week’s news also highlighted several highs and lows for women. The biggest – and most celebratory – item of the week was the welcome election of Slaughter and May juggernaut Deborah Finkler to the newly introduced role of managing partner at the firm. Finkler has an impressive pedigree at the elite outfit, joining in 1986 and making  partner in 1991. She has also worked with some of the firm’s biggest clients, including Santander, JP Morgan and WPP, and coupled with a keen desire within the firm to appoint a woman to the role, as people said at the time, Finkler ticked all the boxes.