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Long Road Remains to Gender Equality in Business, Executives Say

Sheryl Sandberg, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent female executives, talked at an event hosted by The Wall Street Journal about the deep-seated biases held by men and women that can keep female executives from reaching the same levels as male counterparts.

“Companies say that diversity is important, that they want more women in leadership. Our employees don’t believe that’s true,” said Ms. Sandberg—Facebook’s chief operating officer—speaking to an audience that included her parents.

Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, said she was surprised when her children seemed willing to sacrifice career ambitions for family. “We grew up with a mom who was never there,” they told her, an experience that has made her re-examine the flexibility she offers to Pepsi workers.

Ms. Nooyi said that women still carry a disproportionate amount of responsibility for family life, no matter their position in a company. She spoke about rushing home from a long day of work to fix comfort food for her daughter. “You think my husband’s going to do that?” she joked.

Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America and the sixth of eight children, concurred. “When my parents...