This article is helpful in analysing one of the many complex reasons why women don't reach the top in business and the professions in the numbers you'd expect at point of career entry. I certainly found the culture in big law firms so alien when I started my working life that I was put off private practice for a long time.
Women with two years or less of work experience slightly led men in ambition. But for women who had more than two years on the job, aspiration and confidence plummeted 60% and nearly 50%, respectively. These declines came independent of marriage and motherhood status, and compared with much smaller changes for men, who experienced only a 10% dip in confidence.