Claire Cain Miller reports in a 28 Nov 2014 NYTimes article on findings from a first installment of data from a study by the Harvard Business School that tracks its alumni over time:
Women are not equally represented at the top of corporate America because of the basic facts of motherhood: Even the most ambitious women scale back at work to spend more time on child care. At least, that is the conventional wisdom.
… even though career-oriented women don’t see their roles as different from men’s, other factors — like public policy, workplace norms and men’s expectations — are stuck in a previous era, when the lives of women and men looked very different.
“Most people think the reason for women’s stalled advancement is they prioritize family over work and ratchet back hours,” said Robin Ely, a professor and senior associate dean for culture and community at Harvard Business School, who worked on the study. “But when we looked at those things statistically, nothing explained the gender gap in membership in top management teams.”