The Emergence of the Glass Ceiling: A Study on the Role of Nature and Nurture by the Use of an Agent-Based Model.
Hurk, M. van den
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The glass ceiling refers to the difference in career opportunities between men and women. It could be seen as an emergent property of society, where interaction on the individual level results in a separation of the population on the collective level. Because studying the origins behind this phenomenon is difficult, a multi-agent based model is proposed where being social is captured in the core of the agents. The model is used to simulate a playground for children, by letting the agents play different types of games. Their behavior is driven by needs such that they show believable decision-making. The objective is to study whether biological differences between boys and girls, i.e. nature, or social interaction, i.e. nurture, leads to two separate groups, representing boys and girls. It will be shown, however, that it is rather the combination of the two factors, the so-called self-organization, that results in the emergence of different groups, similar to the glass ceiling.