One step forward, two steps back. That's the march for gender equality at the top of New Zealand's biggest listed companies.
The imbalance between men and women at the helm of our large public firms has long been an embarrassment.
It is astonishing that having three female chief executives in the ranks of NZX-50 firms ranks as the best representation of women in those top jobs our market has achieved in at least a decade.
And unless another woman is appointed in the coming months, that three will slip to two, with news on Monday that Chorus boss Kate McKenzie will step down from the job at the end of the year.
The company gave no reason for McKenzie's departure beyond that she wants to "spend more time with her Sydney-based family".
"I don't intend to take another executive role," she told analysts and media.
That means come January there will be as many CEOs named Mark as there are women heading NZX-50 firms.
Better progress is being made at board level but change is still moving at a glacial pace.
As at June, there were 85 female directors around public board tables.
That represents 28.4 per cent of the total number of directors, up from 26.4 per cent in 2018 and from 18.6 per cent in 2015.
That still puts us behind Australia (with 29.6 per cent), albeit growth in the diversity on boards across the Ditch has stagnated in the past year.
There are other glimmers of positive momentum though. A2's Jayne Hrdlicka and Spark's Jolie Hodson (the lone women heading NZX-50 companies once McKenzie departs) are at the helm of substantial firms — two of the exchange's largest.
ASB and BNZ, which are big employers and vital parts of the business scene, also both have female chief executives. But the NZX and its members can hardly argue the status quo is good enough.
One way through the impasse is trying to encourage more female entrepreneurs to list their businesses. Up and down New Zealand, Kiwi women are running fantastic firms but very few of these end up going public.
It's the job of the exchange to attract those businesswomen to raise capital through its market.
Not many of these firms will propel themselves into the top part of the NZX from the outset but will grow and get there with time.
The other group well-placed to help make a change is shareholders. Although they rarely use it, investors have immense power to force companies to act. As well as electing directors they can also choose to pull money from firms dragging their feet on diversity.
KiwiSaver funds have the biggest role to play here. It took public pressure to force KiwiSaver providers out of cluster munitions, tobacco, and other undesirable products. Is a similar pressure required to make them support better representation of women on boards and in executive teams?