Last night I was lucky enough to attend an event to mark 100 years of Women in Law.

Gunnercooke welcomed lawyers from around Manchester to their King Street offices for an evening of celebration. In their words, “Happily, in the years that have passed since female lawyers joined the profession, the world has awakened to the fierce negotiation skills, empathetic relationship building, shrewd leadership and dazzling intellect of women in the law.”

The highlight for many was a passionate and entertaining talk from Sally Penni, Barrister at Law and founder of Women in the Law UK. The part that really resonated with me, and something we talked about afterwards, was the importance of strong female role models – in all walks of life. As someone fresh out of nursing and new to business (a long time ago now!) I was fortunate enough to meet a hugely successful female lawyer. She became a friend, then a mentor and then a non-executive director at MRC. Her support, advice, guidance and friendship over the last eleven years has been truly invaluable and I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her help.

It’s worth remembering how far women have come in the last century, but also that – in many walks of life – there remains a huge amount to do. The value of supporting each other, and sharing our successes and our failures, shouldn’t be underestimated.

Thanks to Sally Penni and those at Gunnercooke for a wonderful evening.