Abstract for: Simulation of the Leaky Pipeline: Gender Diversity in US K-Graduate Education
We develop a dynamic simulation model of gender diversity in US higher education, from kindergarten through elementary, high school, undergraduate and graduate studies. The model consists of the education pipeline for male and female and includes several mechanisms that may reinforce interest in higher education, or affect university admission or attrition from the education pipeline. We simulate the model and examine its fidelity in replicating the historical data of US higher education (1970-2014). After validation, we simulate the model to forecast the future trends of gender composition at different stages of the education pipeline for the next two centuries. For example, the model predicts that women will be the majority of the college and advanced degree holders in the US in 2035 (female to male ratio of 1.4 and 1.5 respectively) with consistently lower rates of dropout in high school, undergraduate, and graduate level of education. We discuss the findings and implications.