[R] Gender balance in R

Maarten Blaauw maarten.blaauw at qub.ac.uk
Tue Nov 25 14:24:34 CET 2014

Nice graph, Scott, thanks!

Based on your code I plotted not the absolute numbers but the ratios, 
which show slowly increasing relative participation of female Rhelpers 
over time (red = women, blue=men, black=unknown). After a c. 5% female 
contribution in 1998, this has grown to about 15% now. At this rate 
we'll reach parity around AD 2080.

My code:

if (!require(gender)) {
rHelp <- rHelpNames
rHelp[is.na(rHelp$gender), "gender"] <- "unknown"

yr <- unique(rHelp$year)

helpers <- list(dates, M=rep(0, length(yr)), F=rep(0, length(yr)), 
unkn=rep(0, length(yr)))

for(i in 1:nrow(rHelp))
   j <- which(yr == rHelp$year[i])
   gender <- rHelp$gender[i]
   if(gender == "M")
    helpers$M[[j]] <- helpers$M[[j]]+1 else
     if(gender == "F")
      helpers$F[[j]] <- helpers$F[[j]]+1 else
       if(gender == "unknown")
        helpers$unkn[[j]] <- helpers$unkn[[j]]+1
plot(yr, helpers$M / (helpers$M+helpers$F+helpers$unkn), type="l", 
col=4, ylim=c(0,1), ylab="proportions", yaxs="i")
lines(yr, helpers$F / (helpers$M+helpers$F+helpers$unkn), col=2) 

lines(yr, helpers$unkn / (helpers$M+helpers$F+helpers$unkn))



On 25/11/14 12:11, Scott Kostyshak wrote:
> 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:
> https://twitter.com/scottkosty/status/449933971644633088
> The code to reproduce that plot is here:
> https://github.com/scottkosty/genderAnalysis
> 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
> --
> 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.

| Dr. Maarten Blaauw
| Lecturer in Chronology
| School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology
| Queen's University Belfast, UK
| www  http://www.chrono.qub.ac.uk/blaauw
| tel  +44 (0)28 9097 3895
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