Men, you're biting off your nose to spite your face. The numbers prove it.
Yet, "You've come a long way, baby", has never been so true, or so false.
Women's right to equal representation needs one final push.
Men, your daughters' need you to pull the last stubborn rock up the hill, but if the thought of your daughter taking her place at the table is not cause enough, then let's talk dollars.
The statistics show including women on boards and nurturing those in the ranks improves profit.
"Catalyst tracked the performance of Fortune 500 companies between 2004 and 2008 and found that companies with the most female directors outperformed those with the fewest. They yielded: 26 percent higher return on invested capital and 16 percent higher return on sales"
From the 2014 Credit Suisse report:
"Enhanced female participation in management positions should not be seen as "nice-to-have" or a necessary box ticking exercise imposed to satisfy quotas. More women in senior management positions improves companies' financial performance and makes a difference for investors in terms of equity market returns..."
And women are looking to gender diversified companies to invest in:
"Investors are directing capital towards companies with diverse leadership teams: Seeking to capture the financial benefits associated with diverse leadership and reflecting a growing demand in the marketplace (according to the Center for Talent Innovation, women control 39 percent of investable assets in the US, and 77 percent of women want to invest in companies with diversity in leadership)..."
We all gravitate to the place where we feel comfortable because change is hard. It's human nature, however, status quo is not in our best interest here.
Let me travel down another rabbit hole--bear with me--it is connected to the ROI of women on boards.
Beyond increased profit and providing a space for your daughters, gender equity is the right thing to do. According to the US National Committee on Equal Pay, as of their 2014 report, women made 78 percent of what a man makes. On a $50,000 wage, this means a woman makes $10,000 less. At their recorded rate of progression, it will be 2059 before paridy is reached.
It won't come as a surprise, according to 2015 research done by the non-profit LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, women remain under-represented "at every level" of corporations. As stated in the report, "At the current pace of change, it will take 100 years to reach gender equality in the C-suite."
Let me go to an even uglier place. In a woman's lifetime, she has a one in five chance of being raped. Yes, one in five.
Shocking, isn't it? And where's the connection to boardroom representation?
Wage inequity and violence against women is simply a means of control. As is holding a wedge up against the boardroom door.
When women stand side by side with men to make the decisions that control our economy and the future of business, they will be the exemplar the next generation will identify with and follow. They'll be center stage standing behind podiums and those seated in their audiences will take for granted these are our role models. Gender equity will be the norm and not questioned, which will have a trickle-down effect on wage parity and women's safety.
This piece is simplistic, as is the fix. There's no need for more multi-paged reports or long discussions.
Men, encourage your colleagues to open the boardroom door. Women, encourage your male counterparts to join you to make the final blast at the glass ceiling.
The ceiling will eventually be broken when as many pairs of high heels as men's Salvatore Ferragamos are ready to make a difference at your boardroom table.
And then, we will truly have come a long way, baby.