Gender-balanced leadership doesn't just happen.

You might know that gender balance is a problem at your company. You see the issues that arise from groupthink and a lack of diversity in viewpoints, communication styles, and thought processes. Maybe you’re uncomfortable with the conversation itself. Or maybe you just have no idea where to start.

That’s why I’m here. For most of my nearly 30 years in corporate America, I’ve held a senior leadership role and had a “seat at the table” surrounded by almost exclusively men. I’ve spent my career partnering with executive teams to create talent strategies that support business objectives in organization design, performance and rewards, succession planning, leadership development, and employee engagement. And I’ve seen firsthand how gender imbalance is causing company after company to lose money.

Melissa’s extraordinary experience in many male-dominated industries acts as a terrific foundation for preparing women and men to examine not only the causes of gender imbalances today, but also the actions we can take to make a real difference.
— Frank Costanzo, Senior Vice President, Caliper Corporation



Want to learn the value of hard work and a little grit? Try growing up in a family with seven kids on a farm in rural Indiana. My childhood shaped my desire to push boundaries and explore new ways of doing things. Early on I was intrigued by gender roles and the different strengths and styles both men and women bring to the table. As college ended and my corporate career took hold, I became fascinated with this topic and how it could impact profits. After decades of firsthand corporate experience and hours of research, gender-balanced leadership has become both my passion and area of expertise.

  • former EVP and COO for Finish Line, Inc.
  • former CHRO for Finish Line, Inc. 
  • certified executive coach
  • author of Money on the Table
  • national speaker on gender-balanced leadership
  • over 20 years of c-suite experience

Gender-imbalance statistics are widely known


Fortune 500 Companies

Public board seats

Leadership Roles



  • Firms with women in 15% or more of their jobs consistently outperformed those with fewer than 10%. *

  • Since 2005, publicly traded companies with more than one woman on their boards of directors have seen stock-market returns that are a compound 3.7 percent a year higher than those with no female representation. *

  • Firms with a higher proportion of women on the board or in top management positions had higher valuations, better returns on equity, and higher payout ratios. *

  • Since 2009, companies with a three-to-one male-female management mix averaged annualized returns of nearly 23 percent. When one-third of the managers were women, average returns increased to more than 25 percent. When the numbers were balanced—a far smaller sample size, to be sure—annualized returns exceeded 28 percent. *
* Credit Suisse: The CS Gender 3000: Women In Senior Management


We as a country are barely moving the needle because no one has identified doable strategies and tactics for fixing the problem—until now. If you’re ready to take some clear-cut, actionable steps towards increasing gender balance and your revenue, let’s talk.