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hpr3257 :: Lack of diversity in Linux and other open source communities

I consider some reasons that there is a lack of diversity when it comes to open source communities.

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Hosted by swift110 on 2021-01-26 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Tags: linux, race, podcast.
Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. | Comments (3)

  1. Why is there a lack of diverse voices and faces in the world of Linux and open source
  2. Free software but it's not made available to the very people who could really benefit from it
  3. Lack of training in schools when it comes to Linux and other open source software

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Comment #1 posted on 2021-01-26T05:04:52Z by b-yeezi

I can relate

Don't worry. You're not the only black host in HPR! I've got plenty of stories just like yours. I can relate to your experiences.

Comment #2 posted on 2021-01-26T09:21:40Z by Tony Hughes

The lack of diversity in Linux

Hi Swift, I just wanted to say thank you for your show it is always good to hear things from the perspective of the a person who 'any' community finds hard to reach.

I know this is not a simple issue and there are many reasons why different community's do not mix, but hearing your experience and thoughts on the issue was very refreshing.

Thank you for a very thoughtful episode.

Tony Hughes

Comment #3 posted on 2021-01-27T01:21:11Z by Beeza

Thoughts on diversity

Hi Swift. Really enjoyed your show.

If you look at the representation of the black community in the wider community of Linux/FLOSS then I think you are definitely on to something. However, there are a great number of non-white contributors to FLOSS projects all over the world - particularly on the Indian sub-continent. It would, I think, be a shame if anybody new to Linux and FLOSS felt there may be any kind of bias against, or any favour of, any racial group - not that I think you were suggesting that there is.

Because communication between contributors on projects often takes place using text-based messaging, for the most part we probably have no idea what the people we correspond with look like, or are like as people. Everyone is as good as their contributions, which is just as it should be.

You made the point that if you had not told the listeners of your racial background nobody would likely have known from your voice or accent. Absolutely right, so it's entirely possible that could be the case with a number of other HPR contributors.

Women, though, have far more distinctive voices so I think it's indisputable that of 3000+ HPR shows, the number submitted by women is pitiful. Diversity takes many forms, so I think there is at least as big an issue with gender diversity in Linux/FLOSS as there is in ethnicity.

To think in terms of a diversity "problem" hints at there being conscious efforts to attract or exclude certain groups. I honestly don't think that is the case in the Linux/FLOSS world, but there can be no doubt that broadening its appeal as widely as possible across society can only bring benefits at every level.

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