[R] Gender balance in R

peter dalgaard pdalgd at gmail.com
Tue Nov 25 17:28:15 CET 2014

On 24 Nov 2014, at 18:34 , 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.
> 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.)

...and very welcome back!!! (I did notice the chronicles on your blog).

Re. the gender issue, it is certainly not that women aren't welcome, it's more that they aren't there. There are various potential reasons that come to mind, but it easily ends up in speculation and stereotyping. 

It is a bit of an embarrasment and people are discussing what to do about it, but some of the countermeasures have a tendency to backfire, so we need to be a little careful. 

- Peter D.

> 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
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Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: pd.mes at cbs.dk  Priv: PDalgd at gmail.com

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