September 13-16, 2022
Dublin, Ireland + Virtual
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Thursday, September 15 • 17:05 - 17:45
The Gender Gap in Open Source is a Metadata Problem (and we can fix it) - Sal Kimmich, Sonatype

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Recent analysis of Github contributions revealed that less than 6% of open source contributions are made by women. At first sight, many often believe that this statistic can be attributed to a lack of interest, awareness, or confidence in public code contribution: but these beliefs are demonstrably false when held against the real statistics of open source projects. 

Data from over 3 million pull requests reveals that when contributions are reviewed blindly, women's contributions are significantly more likely to be accepted (78.7% of female contributors accepted vs. 74.6 for male). However, when those same pull requests were reviewed with gender identifiable handles or images, the acceptance of contributions from female developers drops to just 58%. To put it plainly, our best developers are often barred from open source contribution on the basis of implicit bias, not technical contribution. 

The solution is not just diversifying tech, it's about changing why, when and how we allow the metadata of social identifiers to enter our contributor models. In this talk I'll discuss how projects and individuals can structurally remove implicit bias from their own development decision making, so we can finally make Open Source open to everyone.

avatar for Sal Kimmich

Sal Kimmich

Director of Open Source, AI/ML DevSecOps, Escher Cloud
Sal is passionate about helping engineers, ethical hackers and digital enthusiasts understand the complexity of modern software development. With over a decade of experience as building cloud-native machine learning pipelines in the healthcare and tech for good sectors, their work... Read More →

Thursday September 15, 2022 17:05 - 17:45 IST
Wicklow Meeting Room 5 (Level 2)