Research shows that many companies lack women in leadership positions despite the fact that gender diversity has been tied to enhanced business performance, writes Lisa Kaess, creator of Feminomics. Still, recent high-profile success stories such as the selection of Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve and the ascension of Mary Barra at General Motors show that it is possible to make progress. "This throws down the gauntlet, challenging other companies to do more," Kaess writes.

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