James F. Robison-Cox, Richard F. Martell and Cynthia G. Emrich (2007)
Simulating Gender Stratification
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
vol. 10, no. 3 8
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Received: 22-Nov-2006 Accepted: 06-Apr-2007 Published: 30-Jun-2007
|Figure 1. Distribution of retirement age for new hires|
|Table 1: Numbers of managers reported in a large Fortune 500 company (by level)|
|4 - 6||683||2.5|
|1 - 2||24866||91.7|
|Table 2: Numbers of managers used in simulated companies|
|Large Company||Medium Company||Small Company|
|7 (CEO)||1||0.004||6 (CEO)||1||0.03||5 (CEO)||1||0.1|
In each case, the numbers show that a majority do not get promoted to the higher levels of the company, and that the competition will be intense to get to the upper levels. Next we will describe some of the technical details of the simulation.
|Figure 2. Screen shot of a four level company during its fifth year of operation. Individuals are colored according to gender and performance score with darker colors indicating higher performance scores|
|Figure 3. Effects of 1% and 5% bias on proportions female for three company sizes and three candidate pools (unlimited, limited, or strict)|
From figure 3 we note that bias has a strong effect as judged against the gray horizontal line at 50%. The first level has more than 50% women because relatively more women than men are detained in level 1. The more open candidate pools (middle and bottom rows) show faster rates of decline in proportions female. It is also true that mean performance scores increase more steeply with level for unlimited pools than for strict or limited pools. (Data available upon request.) Decreases in proportions tend to flatten out at the level just below CEO. This is an artifact of a special attrition rule implemented only at that level. When a new CEO is hired, the next level down (VPs) will all leave in the following year. Promoting a large batch of people at one time uses up a greater proportion of the candidates, making the new VPs look much like the level just below them (little filtering is taking place). Smaller companies tend to have higher proportions female in the upper levels, which is sensible because fewer competitions take place between the bottom and the top of the company and because candidate pools are typically smaller than with larger companies. Variability naturally increases with level because lower levels contain far more people. Finally, note that even with 5% bias the proportions female are above the 17% target for the upper levels.
|Figure 4. Effects of 5% and of increasing bias on proportions female for three company sizes|
|Figure 5. Effects of line-staff division combined with 0 and 5% bias on proportions female for three company sizes|
Figure 5 shows that by itself, the line-staff division reduces the proportion of female CEOs to 25-30%. When combined with 5% bias, only 5% of the large, 8% of the medium, and 10% of the small company CEOs were female. At the VP level percents female were 19, 27, and 24 percent (large, medium and small companies, respectively).
|Figure 6. Effects of increased female attrition combined with 0 or 5% bias on proportions female for three company sizes|
|Figure 7. Effects of random one-year delays for women coupled with 0 or 5% bias on proportions female for three company sizes|
Combined with 5% bias, we observed: 6, 13, and 16% of CEOs were women, at the VP level, 11, 18, and 21% were women (for large, medium, small companies). The percentages of women are surprisingly similar to the 5% bias lines in figure 4, indicating that the penalty and bonus were not strong enough to disadvantage women further, or that it is not hard for the few exceptional women who rise to the highest ranks to make up for the one-year delay.
|Probability of external hire|
|Proportion male in external pool|
|Figure 8. Effects of external hiring from a predominantly male pool combined with 0 or 5% bias on proportions female for three company sizes|
|Figure 9. Effects of 20% increase in SD for males with 0 or 5% bias on proportions female for three company sizes|
|Figure 10. Confidence interval estimates of the proportions of women at the VP level for different effects and company sizes|
In the left-most panel, the triangles are for 5% bias alone, and the circles are for increasing bias. In each of the other panels, the circles are for another effect by itself and the triangles are for the same effect combined with 5% bias.
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