GitHub blockchain project contributors less than 5% women, study shows

Former Breakermag reporter Corin Faife’s analysis shows that just 4.64 per cent of all commits gathered from the 100 most popular blockchain projects submitted to GitHub are written by developers having female names.

According to recent research, data on 1,026,804 commits shows that only 47,678 had been written by women and 691,134 by men (the rest of the entries were either made anonymously or developers’ names were ambiguous).

Unless most anonymous commits were made by women—which is unlikely—the blockchain sector remains an overwhelmingly male-dominated industry. Faife cites additional research which confirms his findings—GitHub surveyed 5,500 open source developers, 95 per cent of whom identified as male.

Gender discrepancy is similar across most projects. The research shows, “54 projects incorporated fewer than 100 code commits from female-named developers, and 31 of these projects incorporated fewer than 10 code commits.”

The research analysed top 100 blockchain projects listed on Messari’s OnChainFX dashboard, ignoring companies that are not mainly blockchain and forks. After assembling the dataset of all contributions, Faife attempted to determine the gender of the contributors by using—the tool analysed names and predicted their probable gender.

Faife noted that he realises gender is complicated and even genderised names may not reveal the gender the person identifies with. “Having a name that is parsed as female does not equate to being a woman and vice versa. Increasingly the male/female binary is seen as a reductive way to examine gender, so these findings only give a rough proxy for the gender identity of blockchain developers,” he wrote.