Raw data suggest the open-source community remains dominated by men, but women in coding are crusading against these statistics and finding ways to achieve inclusivity.
One of these women is Marina Zhurakhinskaya, a longtime software engineer and Red Hat’s first senior outreach specialist, who is devoting her career to making open source communities, like the ones that host their code on GitHub, more open to both women and minorities.
Studies in the past year concluded that there are fewer females in the open-source community than industry numbers suggest. According to a blog post written by Breanden Beneschott, cofounder of Toptal, of the 20,000 GitHub profiles analyzed by genderize.io, 926 (or 6%) of these profiles were women.
An engineer from Toptal, Anna-Chiara Bellini, added to the post, saying it’s a common theme among female engineers to avoid contributing to a public project to avoid the excessive spotlight of being the sole female programmer. Other female engineers said they adopt gender-neutral or male names for their profiles so more contributors will take them seriously.
This slightly biased and unwelcoming environment is the one Zhurakhinskaya strives to change through her outreach efforts during her time at Red Hat, a company that recognizes the importance of diversity, with efforts like its annual Women in Open Source Award.
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