Gender Diversity and Women in Software Teams: How Do They Affect Community Smells?
As social as software engineers are, there is a known and established gender imbalance in our community structures, regardless of their open- or closed-source nature. To shed light on the actual benefits of achieving such balance, this empirical study looks into the relations between such balance and the occurrence of community smells, that is, sub-optimal circumstances and patterns across the software organizational structure. Examples of community smells are Organizational Silo effects (overly disconnected sub-groups) or Lone Wolves (defiant community members). Results indicate that the presence of women generally reduces the amount of community smells. We conclude that women are instrumental to reducing community smells in software development teams.