Abstract for: Why so few? The gender representation gap in academic STEM fields

We use a simulation approach to study what factors influence the under-representation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In particular, we focus on understanding why, despite the increased representation of women in graduate programs and assistant professorship positions, we still observe a small proportion of women in tenured positions. To do so, we build a dynamic feedback model of women representation. According to the model, the gender representation gap – i.e., the lack of women in tenured professorship positions - is driven by gender bias and women’s perceptions of the workplace. We show that the behavior of this model is consistent with previous studies focusing on persistent gender gaps in knowledge-based organizations. Finally, we explore the behavior of the model under different experimental conditions.