A NY Times article from yesterday concerns the paucity of women on Wall Street. The long hours required by Wall Street firms push women out because they aren't consistent with raising children. When women who move to the slow track to have time with their children want to return to the fast track, they discover that once you leave the fast track there's no going back.
I suspect that one of the reasons for the long hours on Wall Street is to limit the number of people in the profession and thus maintain high incomes for the lucky few (as I previously blogged about in my post on labor force cartels). Perhaps if all the artificial barriers to entry and constraints on free trade were removed from Wall Street, the salaries would drop so much that no one would really care that if women weren't represented in the profession.
It's hard to have much sympathy for women who are making probably more than $200,000/year on the slow track in a profession that never opened its doors to me at all.
It also seems clear that women, on average, don't have the same desire as men to do whatever it takes in order to be financially successful.
One of the primary motivations for men to be financially successful is becuase it also makes them more successful with women. As Maureen Dowd observed, men don't care if women are successful, so women don't have the same motivation to be successful. Women could easily erase most of the gender income gap by deciding, en masse, to give their sexual favors to men who earn less money. Then men would no longer put so much effort into trying to make money.