A study conducted by journalist Corin Faife, reportedly checked over 1 million code commits in GitHub to identify participation of open-source contributors that could be identified as women. The investigation showed a total of 4.64% of female names in the main branches for each of these projects.
Using the GitHub API, a custom Python script, and Genderize.io, Faife dug through a million lines to find contributor names in each project.
The gender-based investigation checked a total of 1,026,804 lines of code in the repositories, collecting users real names and identifying their gender using the Genderize service.
Faife also focused on big projects like TRON and Binance and found that the database showed 54 projects had less than 100 commits made by women while 31 projects had less than ten women participating.
The study also reports that although the results couldn’t identify all the users — some of them didn’t provide a real name in their account or had a name of ambiguous gender — the overall percentage of male names was as high as 67.3%.
Faife’s study supports Github’s earlier research in 2017 that found 95% of open source collaborators were male. The GitHub study noted that the lack of inclusion also represents a problem for women who work in tech since many job search firms scan online projects to find potential employees.
Women are under-represented in the blockchain space. For example, another study showed that in 2019 new blockchain startups had only 14.5% women as team members and only 7% in executive positions.
And as Coindesk points out, companies like Circle have also found a strong disparity between the number of male and female cryptocurrency investors, with women representing far less than half of the participants in both studies.