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Sexism: Open Source Software's Dirty Little Secret

Sep 09, 2009, 21:49 (31 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"Asked to guess what percentage of FOSS developers are women, mostly people guess a number between 30-45%. A few, either more observant or anticipating a trick question after hearing the proprietary figure, guess 12-16%. The exact figure, though, is even lower: 1.5%.

"In other words, women's participation in FOSS development is over seventeen times lower than it is in proprietary software development. Proprietary software is inferior in so many ways to FOSS that the fact that it is more successful in recruiting women highlights, more than anything else, that FOSS has a problem -- even if you allow for the widest possible margins of error. The figures are a galling reversal of what those of us in the FOSS community prefer to believe. We're the idealistic and progressive ones, we like to believe."

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