Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President

There have been a series of stories recently in the news about the lack of women in leadership positions in the U.S.  No doubt women still face stiff challenges getting into the C-suites and boardrooms, but the times they are a changin’.  There are at least three notable announcements this week alone.

The tech world was buzzing with the announcement of Marjorie Scardino’s appointment to Twitter’s board of directors.  With her resume and former position as CEO of Pearson PLC, Scardino may be wondering what all the fuss is about, but it is a major milestone.  She marked the occasion with her first tweet and here’s hoping she is more active in the boardroom than she has been in the twitterverse to date.

Yesterday, General Motors put Detroit back in the news with the appointment of Mary Barra as CEO.  Barra was not thinking about her gender during her introduction this week; she was only interested in the growth of the company.  In the New York Times, Barra is quoted during a town hall-style meeting at the Detroit company headquarters, “This is truly the next chapter in G.M.’s recovery and turnaround history…And I’m proud to be a part of it.”

And then there’s today’s news that Deborah Rutter will leave the Windy City to become president of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  By all accounts she won this appointment on merit, not because they were looking to fill a quota or specifically hire a woman.

A recent study by the Pew Institute shows that millennial women are gaining on men in pay, now earning 93 percent of the hourly wage of men.  This number is an all time high, but is diluted a bit when you factor in all women vs. men.

So the news is better than we think, women are still not represented adequately in the boardroom but the indicators point to progress.  Every day women are making a difference and being recognized and rewarded for their achievement, not just because they are women, but because they are smart.