How Open Source Can Drive Diversity and Innovation

“Diverse and inclusive cultures provide companies with a competitive edge over their peers and deliver better results,” says Priyanka Sharma, General Manager of Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). 

In a recent article, Sharma cites a Boston Consulting Group study showing that “diversity boosts innovation by expanding the range of a company’s ideas and options, leading to better financial performance.” 

“Open source, by design, welcomes diversity because anyone can contribute to software code from anywhere in the world,” Sharma says. “But there are challenges and problems in software development that are real threats to diversity in technology and to its innovative power.”

For example, the software developer community, which includes open source, is about 70% white, and 92% male, according to the global 2020 StackOverflow survey

The open source community must lead the way in making software development more diverse, resilient, and powerful for the benefit of everyone, Sharma says. And, she notes steps that individual developers can take to do their part:

  • Take unconscious bias training. 
  • Become an ally. 
  • Mentor or sponsor others.
  • Write inclusive code

Read the complete article at Fast Company.

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