FLOSS Participants' Perceptions about Gender and Inclusiveness: A Survey
Technical TrackIndustry Program
Background: While FLOSS projects espouse openness and acceptance for all, in practice, female contributors often face discriminatory barriers to contribution. Aims: In this paper, we examine the extent to which these problems still exist. We also study male and female contributors’ perceptions of other contributors. Method: We surveyed participants from 15 FLOSS projects, asking a series of open-ended, closed-ended, and behavioral scale questions to gather information about the issue of gender in FLOSS projects. Results: Though many of those we surveyed expressed a positive sentiment towards females who participate in FLOSS projects, some were still strongly against their inclusion. Often, the respondents who were against inclusiveness also believed their own sentiments were the prevailing belief in the community, contrary to our findings. Others did not see the purpose of attempting to be inclusive, expressing the sentiment that a discussion of gender has no place in FLOSS. Conclusions: FLOSS projects have started to move forwards in terms of gender acceptance. However, there is still a need for more progress in the inclusion of gender-diverse contributors.