Diversity in open-source software

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The open-source-software movement is commonly cited to have a diversity problem that reflects that gender disparity in computing but in general is assumed to be even more severe or different in some ways.

Gender diversity[edit]

The gender ratio in open source is even greater than the field-wide gender disparity in computing. This has been found by a number of surveys:

  • A 2002 survey of 2,784 open-source-software developers found that 1.1% of them were women.[1]
  • A 2013 survey of 2,183 open-source contributors found that 81.4% were men and 10.4% were women.[2] This survey included both software contributors and non-software contributors and women were much more likely to be non-software contributors.[3]
  • A 2017 survey of 5,500 contributors to projects on GitHub found that 95% of contributors were men and 3% were women.[4]

In 2015 RedHat started the Women in Open Source Awards. The winners are:[5]

Racial and ethnic diversity[edit]

Black people and Latinos are considered to be underrepresented.[6]

Sexual minority diversity[edit]

A higher percentage of open-source contributors are members of a sexual minority. A 2017 survey of GitHub contributors found that 7% were LGBT compared to 4% of the general population.[4]


  1. ^ http://flossproject.merit.unu.edu/report/Final4.htm
  2. ^ "FLOSS 2013: A Survey Dataset about Free Software Contributors: Challenges for Curating, Sharing, and Combining". https://www.win.tue.nl/~aserebre/msr14gregorio.pdf
  3. ^ "Women in Free/Libre/Open Source Software: The situation in the 2010s".
  4. ^ a b Klint, Finley (2 June 2017). "Diversity in Open Source Is Even Worse Than in Tech Overall". Wired.
  5. ^ "Women in Open Source Awards". Retrieved Feb 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Why Isn't Open Source A Gateway For Coders Of Color?". https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/12/05/248791579/why-isnt-open-source-a-gateway-for-coders-of-color