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Study Finds Gender Bias in Open-Source Programming

A study comparing acceptance rates of contributions from men and women in an open-source software community finds that, overall, women's contributions tend to be accepted more often than men's - but when a woman's gender is identifiable, they are rejected more often. "There are a number of questions and concerns related to gender bias in computer programming, but this project was focused on one specific research question: To what extent does gender bias exist when pull requests are judged on GitHub?" says Emerson Murphy-Hill, corresponding author of a paper on the study and an associate professor of computer science at North Carolina State University. GitHub is an online programming community that fosters collaboration on open-source software projects. When people identify ways to improve code on a given project, they submit a "pull request." Those pull requests are then approved or denied by "insiders," the programmers who are responsible for overseeing the project. Read more at

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