Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


How Implicit Bias Affects Diversity and Inclusion in Open Source.

The topic of diversity and inclusion has for long been practised in theory within open source communities. Yet, in reality, our believes in diversity and inclusion is frequently questioned because of our biases, particularly Implicit Bias. In this session, I will discuss these biases are, how they affect open-source communities and how to improve on these biases.

Open Source communities operate on a set of values that include a commitment to inclusion and diversity. The idea that the Tech Ecosystem at large is faced with the challenges of Diversity and Inclusion is not a myth. To everyone, there is a level of implicit bias and beliefs about various social and identity groups to some degree. Implicit biases are the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Studies have shown that the majority of the problems posed by diversity and inclusion result from implicit bias. As users, maintainers and contributors of Open Source Software, we may have encountered different marginalized groups that have shared their encounters of bias in Open Source communities. Most persons are ignorant of this bias and its impact on the victims. In an Open Source Project, a typical example of implicit bias could be, assuming that a female employee will be less competent for a role compared to a male employee. In this session, I will be talking about: What Diversity and Inclusion is, Why Diversity and Inclusion matter? Challenges faced by underrepresented groups in open source communities, Identifying Bias, What implicit Bias is, The different forms of implicit Bias, Why it is important to create awareness of this bias and How these biases can be improved.


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