Yuhao Du, Jessica Nordell, and Kenneth Joseph used simulations to study the effects of small gender biases at entry level up to executive level. It doesn’t take much to skew the distribution. For NYT Opinion, Yaryna Serkez shows the simulation in action with moving bubbles and stacked area charts for each work level.
The simulation imagines a company where female performance is undervalued by 3 percent. Each dot represents an employee, and they either move up with promotions or stay still. The distribution of men and women start even but end very uneven.