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Are women opting out of their careers to raise families?

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Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook speaks during a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting on September 24, 2013 in New York City.
Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook speaks during a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting on September 24, 2013 in New York City.

Alex Cohen talks with Harvard Business School professor Robin Ely about her article "Rethink What You Know About High-Achieving Women,"​ in this month's issue of the Harvard Business Review.​

One of the reasons often cited for the lack of women in senior management positions is that women are opting out of their careers to raise families. The idea being that once women are out of the workforce, they find it difficult to make their way back in and don't advance as quickly as their male counterparts. 

Hoping to shed some light on whether there really is truth to the "opting out" rationale, researchers at the Harvard Business School and Hunter College recently conducted a survey of Harvard MBAs— both men and women— and found some surprising results.

They're summarized in an article called "Rethink What You Know About 'High-Achieving' Women" in the current issue of the Harvard Business Review.

Robin Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community at Harvard Business School, joined Take Two to explain more.

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