Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Source

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the technology industry — and within open source specifically—is an opportunity we need to continuously leverage for the benefits it brings. Given that people of vastly different backgrounds, nationalities, orientations, and identities create open source software, hardware, and standards, their participation and well-being is important. Study after study reveals that diversity in participation produces better outcomes and more robust technologies—that diverse communities are simply stronger communities. For communities to continue evolving for the better, we need to improve our collective understanding in DEI, studying the current state, and what types of collective efforts lead to better outcomes.  

The report you are about to read is the culmination of many months of primary research by research professionals and leaders across our communities and points to societal changes and trends that are impacting DEI in the workplace. Enterprise Digital Transformation, Techlash, Political Polarization, Social Media Ecosystem, and Content Moderation are all cited as trends that have exposed and amplified exclusionary narratives and designs, mandating increased awareness, and recalibrating individual and organizational attention. Beyond the survey findings that identify the state of DEI, this research explores a number of DEI initiatives and their efficacy and recommends action items for the entire stakeholder ecosystem to further their efforts and build inclusion by design.

This work was made possible by the responses of thousands of open source participants who completed the survey and those who engaged in qualitative interviews to provide a richer perspective on the issues at hand. In particular, we thank those who, through the research process, came forward to express that they felt marginalized or excluded from the communities in which they participate. In addition, we are grateful to our project partners Amazon Web Services (AWS), CHAOSS Community, Comcast, Fujitsu, GitHub, GitLab, Hitachi, Huawei, Intel, NEC, Panasonic, Red Hat, Renesas, and VMware. Their financial support enabled survey translation and deep analysis of this important subject matter.


  • Hilary Carter, Vice President of Research, The Linux Foundation
  • Jessica Groopman, Industry Analyst and Founder, Kaleido Insights

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More About LF Research

Open source communities are at the heart of an explosion of technical innovation, where industry leaders, engineers, and end users are collectively creating and improving the digital infrastructure on which the global economy depends.

With an extensive community of members, connections with thousands of companies, and hundreds of thousands of open source contributors, professionals, solution providers, and users, the Linux Foundation is in a unique position to investigate the growing scale of open source collaboration, and provide insights into emerging technology trends, best practices, and global impact of open source projects.

By leveraging project databases and networks, and through a commitment to best practices in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, Linux Foundation Research is designed to be the go-to repository for open source insights for the benefit of organizations and governments the world over.