A new report on gender diversity in OpenStack adds new numbers to the valuable debate about inclusion in open source projects. OpenStack pioneered research in this field since 2014 when it started tracking gender for all its contributors and Foundation members.
Companies have placed a steady importance on diversity and inclusion to further innovation — state the report’s authors Daniel Izquierdo of Bitergia, Nicole Huesman from Intel and Allison Price of the OpenStack Foundation — beginning with visible measurement and reporting of data in 2012-2013, which has spurred a high degree of focus, accountability and discussion on increasing the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities within the technology industry.
“Since the technology industry started measuring and publishing numbers on diversity, the dialogue and actions have increased,” says Nithya Ruff, Women of OpenStack Member and senior director at Comcast, in a foreword to the report.
The report highlights that all contributions — both technical and non-technical — must be recognized, and women often contribute more heavily in non-technical areas.
The authors of the analysis, led by open source analysis experts Bitergia, highlight in the recommendations that, based on evidence, inclusive communities have good documentation, on-boarding processes and mentors. It recommends tracking both the tenure and attrition of women in the OpenStack community, and studying the impact of specific policies and initiatives undertaken by the OpenStack Foundation.