[R] Gender balance in R

Sarah Goslee sarah.goslee at gmail.com
Mon Nov 24 18:34:05 CET 2014

I took a look at apparent gender among list participants a few years ago:

Same general thing: very few regular participants on the list were
women. I don't see any sign that that has changed in the last three
years. The bar to participation in the R-help list is much, much lower
than that to become a developer.

It would be interesting to look at the stats for CRAN packages as well.

The very low percentage of regular female participants is one of the
things that keeps me active on this list: to demonstrate that it's not
only men who use R and participate in the community.

(If you decide to do the stats for 2014, be aware that I've been out
on medical leave for the past two months, so the numbers are even
lower than usual.)


On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 10:10 AM, Maarten Blaauw
<maarten.blaauw at qub.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hi there,
> I can't help to notice that the gender balance among R developers and
> ordinary members is extremely skewed (as it is with open source software in
> general).
> Have a look at http://www.r-project.org/foundation/memberlist.html - at most
> a handful of women are listed among the 'supporting members', and none at
> all among the 29 'ordinary members'.
> On the other hand I personally know many happy R users of both genders.
> My questions are thus: Should R developers (and users) be worried that the
> 'other half' is excluded? If so, how could female R users/developers be
> persuaded to become more visible (e.g. added as supporting or ordinary
> members)?
> Thanks,
> Maarten
Sarah Goslee

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