It is no surprise that the technology world is dominated by men, or that women are often looked down upon in the workforce. Why? Some contribute this rationale to the way we were brought up (programmable toys are often geared towards boys), and some say it is because women aren’t as confident or don’t speak up as much as men. But even when our work and our work alone should be the only thing that matters, our gender still sticks out.
A new study conducted by computer researchers from the California Polytechnic State University and North Carolina State University compared acceptance rates of contributions from men and women in the open-source software community and found that while women coders are more competent than their male counterparts, they still faced gender bias. The researchers analyzed pull requests from 1.4 million computer programmers on GitHub.
Their observations included:
- Women are more likely to have pull requests accepted than men.
- Women continue to have high acceptance rates as they gain experience.
- Women’s pull requests are less likely to serve an immediate project need.
- Women’s changes are larger.
- Women’s acceptance rates are higher across programming languages.
- Women have lower acceptance rates as outsiders when they are identifiable as women.
So while women may have better or more relevant pull requests, they were neglected once it was discovered they were in fact women. Code is code; it either works or it doesn’t, and gender shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
The full study is available here.