Interactive Simulation: Gender Bias
What is this?
This is an example of a computer simulation that captures the dynamics of gender balance within an organization. The organization has four levels of employees (Entry-level, Managers, VPs and Executives), and employees are men or women. As the company grows, people can be promoted or terminated, and new people are hired at the entry level. The simulation lets you test the impact of the initial gender imbalance, and also the impact of hiring or promotion biases based on gender.
How do I use it?
Set up the initial gender balance and the hiring and promotion biases, then click/tap the "Initialize" button, and then click/tap "Run."
The simulation runs week-by-week for five years, showing people being promoted (float up to the next level) or terminated (turn grey then disappear). The "Gender balance" chart shows the percentage of men at each of the four levels. You can also see the number of men and women in the small counters alongside each level.
Why is this interesting?
The simulation captures the dynamics that result from gender biases and organizational imbalances. One key finding with this simulation is that biases can quickly lead to imbalance, but that once the company is imbalanced, simply removing biases takes a much longer time to restore balance.