Despite good will, best intentions and some progress, gender balance initiatives have generally not delivered anticipated outcomes in a timely manner. One reasons is that significant change is necessarily long-term (over years), since there cannot simply be a ‘spill’ and reappointmentof current positions. Consequently, the highest level metrics are relatively slow-moving, lagging indicators which likely don’t precisely portray the ‘realtime’ current context (which leading indicators would). Adopting a range of evidence-based proxy metrics that are tightly fitted to context offers the opportunity of developing actions and gauging progress for both short-and medium-term horizons also. Correctly crafted, proxy metrics powerfully serve as highly context-relevant leading indicators of progress. Proxy metrics also facilitate short-cycle experimentation and corrective action which is more effective in complex contexts than long-term metrics found in typical linear planning approaches.