Why Women Write Better Code

Does being a woman make you better at coding?

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It's been a big day for science. We are still reeling from The Biggest Scientific Breakthrough of The Century - ripples in space time that proeve Einstein's Theory of Relativity (we always thought he was on to something) and now this!

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If women write computer code without identifying their gender, it is rated higher than that which is written by men, according to analysis of 1.4 million users of the open source program-sharing service Github on a single day. The report found that pull requests - or suggested code changes - made by women (who hid their gender) on the service were accepted more than those by men.

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Different factors were considered including whether women were more likely to be responding to known issues, if their contributions were shorter in length and so easier to judge, and the coding language they were using, but a connection wasn't found. 

However those with profiles that made their gender obvious had a much lower acceptance rate than those with an anonymous gender.

Hmmm, no doubt the guest editor of our March issue Karlie Kloss will have something to say about researchers' findings that:

"For outsiders, we see evidence for gender bias: women's acceptance rates are 71.8% when they use gender neutral profiles, but drop to 62.5% when their gender is identifiable." They continue, "Women have a higher acceptance rate of pull requests overall, but when their gender is identifiable, they have a lower acceptance rate than men. Our results suggest that although women on Github may be more competent overall, bias against them exists nonetheless".

For our March issue, on newstands now, Karlie spoke to some trail blazing women in tech and told us that ''Every industry is being transformed by technology and you either adapt or get left behind. So I think why coding has grown to be so powerful, especially for young women, is that it gives you the understanding and the skills to be a part of the change and a part of writing the future.'

We also made a documentary film series with Karlie, where she interviews some of these inspirational women. Watch it here:

And watch this space as ELLE is soon launching its own coding workshops. Check back soon for more details. 

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