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Why do so few women survive in high-profile executive roles?

Lehman Brothers’ ousting of its CFO Erin Callan — who had been the most powerful woman on Wall Street and was once considered a contender for the CEO job — is neither the first nor the last high-profile executive to lose her job as financial firms suffer.

But news that Callan had been demoted prompted groans from several investment managers and researchers who have long bemoaned the small number of women working in finance’s upper echelon.

Why do so few women survive in the financial world’s executive suites?