Women in Free/Libre/Open Source Software: The Situation in the 2010s

TitleWomen in Free/Libre/Open Source Software: The Situation in the 2010s
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRobles, G, Reina, LA, González-Barahona, JM, Domínguez, SD
Secondary AuthorsCrowston, K, Hammouda, I, Lundell, B, Robles, G, Gamalielsson, J, Lindman, J
Secondary TitleOpen Source Systems: Integrating Communities: 12th IFIP WG 2.13 International Conference, OSS 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden, May 30 - June 2, 2016, Proceedings
ChapterWomen in Free/Libre/Open Source Software: The Situation in the 2010s
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Place PublishedCham
ISBN Number978-3-319-39225-7

Women are underrepresented in the IT sector. But the situation in FLOSS (free, libre, open source software) development is really extreme in this respect: past publications and studies show a female participation of around 2 % to 5 % and have shed some light into this problem. In this paper, we give an update the state of knowledge to the current situation of gender in FLOSS, by analyzing the results of surveying more than 2,000 contributors to FLOSS projects in 2013, of which more than 200 were women. Our findings confirm that women enter the FLOSS community later than men, do primarily other tasks than coding, participate less if they have children, and have slightly different reasons to enter (and to stay in) the development communities they join. However, we also find evidence that women are joining FLOSS projects in higher numbers in recent years, and that the share of women devoting few hours per week to FLOSS and full-time dedication is higher than for men. All in all, comparing our results with the ones from the 2000s, the context of participation of women in FLOSS has not changed much.

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