Women Are Better Coders Than Men, According to Science

The work of women coders tends to be over-scrutinized because of gender bias, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by the Cal Poly and North Carolina State University computer science departments, involved studying about 3 million suggestions submitted on technology website GitHub, where software developers collaborate on projects, provide criticism or share input on user-created software code.

The paper, which is yet to be peer reviewed, revealed that code written by women was approved at a higher rate (78.6%) than code written by men (74.6%). However, this statistic that indicates that the code women contribute to GitHub is more likely to be accepted by their peers only happens when the women keep their gender hidden.  When a coder’s gender is identifiable, female coders’ approval ratings dropped to just 62.5%.

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“Women have a higher acceptance rate of pull requests overall, but when they’re outsiders and their gender is identifiable, they have a lower acceptance rate than men,” the paper said. “Our results suggest that although women on Github may be more competent overall, bias against them exists nonetheless.”

Feature image via Isis Anchalee

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