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Barriers Faced by Women in Software Development Projects

Department of Computer Science, University of Brasília (UnB), P.O. Box 4466, Brasília, Brazil
Department of Computer Science, Lutheran University Center of Palmas (CEULP), P.O. Box 85, Palmas, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Information 2019, 10(10), 309;
Received: 2 September 2019 / Revised: 27 September 2019 / Accepted: 30 September 2019 / Published: 9 October 2019
Computer science is a predominantly male field of study. Women face barriers while trying to insert themselves in the study of computer science. Those barriers extend to when women are exposed to the professional area of computer science. Despite decades of social fights for gender equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and in computer science in general, few women participate in computer science, and some of the reasons include gender bias and lack of support for women when choosing a computer science career. Open source software development has been increasingly used by companies seeking the competitive advantages gained by team diversity. This diversification of the characteristics of team members includes, for example, the age of the participants, the level of experience, education and knowledge in the area, and their gender. In open source software projects women are underrepresented and a series of biases are involved in their participation. This paper conducts a systematic literature review with the objective of finding factors that could assist in increasing women’s interest in contributing to open source communities and software development projects. The main contributions of this paper are: (i) identification of factors that cause women’s lack of interest (engagement), (ii) possible solutions to increase the engagement of this public, (iii) to outline the profile of professional women who are participating in open source software projects and software development projects. The main findings of this research reveal that women are underrepresented in software development projects and in open source software projects. They represent less than 10% of the total developers and the main causes of this underrepresentation may be associated with their workplace conditions, which reflect male gender bias. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender diversity; open-source projects; software development projects; women in STEM; systematic literature review gender diversity; open-source projects; software development projects; women in STEM; systematic literature review
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Dias Canedo, E.; Acco Tives, H.; Bogo Marioti, M.; Fagundes, F.; Siqueira de Cerqueira, J.A. Barriers Faced by Women in Software Development Projects. Information 2019, 10, 309.

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