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Perceptions of the State of D I and D I Initiative in the ASF

by   Mariam Guizani, et al.
Northern Arizona University
Oregon State University

Open Source Software (OSS) Foundations and projects are investing in creating Diversity and Inclusion (D I) initiatives. However, little is known about contributors' perceptions about the usefulness and success of such initiatives. We aim to close this gap by investigating how contributors perceive the state of D I in their community. In collaboration with the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), we surveyed 600+ OSS contributors and conducted 11 follow-up interviews. We used mixed methods to analyze our data-quantitative analysis of Likert-scale questions and qualitative analysis of open-ended survey question and the interviews to understand contributors' perceptions and critiques of the D I initiative and how to improve it. Our results indicate that the ASF contributors felt that the state of D I was still lacking, especially regarding gender, seniority, and English proficiency. Regarding the D I initiative, some participants felt that the effort was unnecessary, while others agreed with the effort but critiqued its implementation. These findings show that D I initiatives in OSS communities are a good start, but there is room for improvements. Our results can inspire the creation of new and the refinement of current initiatives.


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