For the past thirty years, much of the effort to improve the status of women in higher education has focused on the so-called "pipeline" theory, which held that a large number of women undergraduates and graduate students would, over time, yield larger numbers of women at the highest academic ranks. In other words, getting more women into college, encouraging them to pursue graduate and professional education, and recruiting them into the academy was supposed to create a growing "pool" from which search committees would select ever larger numbers of women assistant professors. These women, in turn, would earn tenured positions and, eventually, be promoted to the rank of full professor. The end result would be many women flowing out of the "pipeline" to swell the most senior ranks of the faculty and administrative leadership positions.
White, J. S. (2005). Pipeline to Pathways: New Directions for Improving the Status of Women on Campus. Liberal Education, 91(1), 22-27.