Diversity as a Dependency

Location: D136
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 4 ratings)

The Open Source community prides itself on being a meritocracy, on caring more about what people can do rather than on personal attributes. While overall, Open Source is pretty widespread globally, we are not as diverse as we could be, particularly in terms of gender. Members of the community, from a variety of projects and languages, are working to address this issue. Talks on diversity have been presented at OSCON in the past. Unfortunately, among the objections we’ve encountered in the process, some are due to people wondering why diversity matters; why should a technical community worry about such issues. Shouldn’t we focus on just making our project or language the best it can be, and let people use
it or not, join the community or not, based on the technical aspects alone?

The talk will suggest that the goal of making an Open Source project the best it can be is not orthogonal to efforts to increase diversity, but may instead be dependent on diversity.

This talk will primarily be an overview of research on the benefits of diversity to organizations and groups. I will focus on the literature regarding the effects of diversity on creativity and productivity and usability, and show how these studies relate to the Open Source community.


  • 5 mins introduction
  • 15 mins review of studies
  • 10 mins conclusions to be drawn from studies
  • 10 mins Q&A
Photo of Anna Ravenscroft

Anna Ravenscroft


Pythonista, mom, geek, student

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  • Symbian
  • VoltDB
  • WSO2
  • Linux Pro Magazine

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