Tech has long had a diversity problem, but in open source, it’s even worse. U.S. Bureau of Labor data shows that 19.4% of software developers are women, but according to a 2017 GitHub open source survey, 95% of respondents were men and just 3% were women (1% identified as non-binary). The reasons are various, but one key reason may simply be that open source communities can be unfriendly to women developers.
According to that same GitHub survey, it’s not that women developers don’t want to contribute to open source projects. Actually, 68% of the women surveyed said they are “very interested” in contributing to open source, but are significantly less likely to do so than men (45% compared to 61%). Even so, we do have a rising number of women open source stars who are contributing to and/or maintaining open source projects.