[R] Gender balance in R

Scott Kostyshak skostysh at princeton.edu
Tue Nov 25 13:11:21 CET 2014

On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM, Sarah Goslee <sarah.goslee at gmail.com> wrote:
> I took a look at apparent gender among list participants a few years ago:
> https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-help/2011-June/280272.html
> 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.

I plotted the gender of posters on r-help over time. The plot is here:

The code to reproduce that plot is here:
The R file there will call devtools::install_github to install a
package from Github used for guessing the gender based on the first
name (https://github.com/scottkosty/gender).

Note also on that tweet that Gabriela de Queiroz posted it, who is the
founder of R-ladies; and that David Smith showed interest in
discussing the topic. So there is definitely demand for some data
analysis and discussion on the topic.

> 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.

Thank you for that!


Scott Kostyshak
Economics PhD Candidate
Princeton University

> (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.)
> Sarah
> 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
> http://www.functionaldiversity.org
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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