Linux Foundation Launches 2021 Open Source Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey


Linux Foundation Launches 2021 Open Source Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey

In partnership with AWS, CHAOSS, Comcast, Fujitsu, GitHub, GitLab, Hitachi, Huawei, Intel, NEC, Panasonic, Renesas, Panasonic, RedHat, VMware

Linux Foundation Research and its partners are assessing the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within open source communities. The purpose of this research is to understand the demographics and dynamics concerning overall contributor participation and to identify gaps to be addressed as a means to advancing inclusive cultures within these environments.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core values of the Linux Foundation, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our communities for the benefit of their contributors. Our initiatives include DEI efforts across our global events, training, and open source member programs. For example, we founded the Inclusive Naming Initiative (November 2020) with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and we began awarding training scholarships with TransTech (Spring 2021) for qualified LGBTQ individuals.

This research aims to drive data-driven decisions on future programming and interventions to benefit the people who use and develop open source technologies. The survey results will enable greater understanding of the people who use and develop open source technologies within the Linux Foundation and its partner communities.

To take the survey in Russian, Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Arabic, German, French, Spanish, or Portuguese (Br), click on the upper right-hand corner on the survey landing page.

Open source software is created by people of vastly different backgrounds, nationalities, orientations, and identities — all of whose opinions must be respected, included, and recognized. As the leader in running the world’s most important open source communities, it is incumbent upon us to elevate those opinions and concerns regarding important DEI issues with quantifiable data.

Jim Zemlin
Executive Director, Linux Foundation

We are pleased to have the support of several members of the LF community in this research. Hear from those supporters who have offered comments:

In today’s digital world, open source software powers nearly all of our modern society and economy. Understanding the people who build, maintain, and use these projects is important to anyone concerned about the sustainability of open source and the critical network of services and technologies that depend on it. As the home to over 65 million developers, we are proud to join The Linux Foundation in the 2021 Open Source Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey.

Demetris CheathamSr. Director, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy, GitHub

Building an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging is not just the right thing to do; it’s also good for business. Our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIB) values have been fundamental to GitLab’s success, in which we collaborate alongside our open source community to build a product that best represents our estimated 30 million users. When thinking about a DIB strategy, plan, or philosophy, you have to consider all the things you can’t see, and you don’t hear. For that reason, we have joined the Linux Foundation to launch the 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey, and we look forward to hearing the voices of the wider open source community. Together, we’ll uncover insights that we hope will lead to a lasting impact across the entire open source ecosystem.

Candace WilliamsManager, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, GitLab

Creating an open and inclusive community for all people is a great mission to have, and underpinning this is data on where we are and what is needed to achieve the mission.  I am proud to support this groundbreaking work being done by the Linux Foundation to get a baseline of where we are in including all people in our open source communities and keeping this data and questions open and ensuring people’s privacy.

Nithya A. RuffHead, Comcast Open Source Program Office, Comcast

CHAOSS was honored to be a core contributor to the creation of this survey, and watching it evolve as part of a collaboration of a diverse and experienced team was an amazing process. We fully support this initiative, as the results of this survey will be crucial for many of us working to help others improve the health of their open source projects.

Elizabeth BarronCommunity Manager, CHAOSS

Open Source has become critically fundamental for today’s ICT infrastructure. Its sustainability relies on the developers and users, many of whom have very diverse backgrounds and opinions. The LF Research DEI Survey will provide key insights into these different aspects of our open source communities. As one of the active open source users and contributors, Huawei is happy to support this research and hopes this will help open source, the greatest collaborative development in human history, to achieve a more bright and sustainable future.

Peixin HouChief Open Source Expert, Huawei

Our best is achieved when work environments are as supportive, inclusive, and diverse as they are innovative. Through new insights about both the people who are the open source community, and their work cultures, we can understand shortcomings and work toward that vision. Intel is proud to support the Linux Foundation’s diversity, equity, and inclusion research as part of its broad commitment to creating innovative environments through diverse teams.

Melissa E. EversVice President, Architecture, Graphics and Software, Software and Ecosystem Strategy, Intel

Open and inclusive communities and ecosystems are at the heart of innovation for Red Hat. Diversity and equity are key to organizational health, and we’re hopeful this important research will increase awareness and opportunities for underrepresented groups, introduce new perspectives and ideas, and inform plans to create more welcoming communities.

Deborah BryantSenior Director, OPSO, Office of the CTO, Red Hat

Renesas fully supports the Linux Foundation’s effort to better understand open source community participation and desire to make the community more inclusive for users and contributors. We consider Diversity and Inclusion as part of our core values and applaud the Linux Foundation for striving to advance a culture of inclusion across the open source ecosystem.

Hisao MunakataSenior Director, Renesas

VMware sees it as critical that we create a digital future that is equitable, accessible, and inclusive for all. We are proud to align ourselves with open source communities like the Linux Foundation and do our part to help build a culture of inclusion across the tech industry. Together, we can enable everyone, regardless of background, to succeed and further innovation.

Shanis WindlandVice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, VMware

Survey Details

This survey will take 15 minutes or less. It will be used to create an anonymized data set, with non-sensitive portions made freely available where feasible to do so and will avoid re-identification of respondents.

Anyone who uses, contributes to, or thinks about open source software is welcome to participate in the survey. Whether you’re a long-time maintainer, a new contributor, or if you are an open source-curious person, we want to hear from you!


As a thank-you for your participation, you will receive a 20% registration discount to attend the Open Source Summit/Embedded Linux Conference event upon completion of the survey. Please note this discount is not transferable and may not be combined with other offers.


All questions are optional. The data collected here is anonymous and will not be linked to any other data sources. Please do not include any details that could reasonably identify you or any other person in text responses. We aim not to collect any personally identifying information, and the privacy and confidentiality of all respondents will be maintained; please see for more information about the Use and Access Policy for the responses to this survey. This survey uses cookies, but only to prevent duplicate responses. 


Questions used in this survey draw from the work of:

Open Demographics Documentation
Diversity in Tech
The CHAOSS Project
GitHub 2017 Open Source Survey

The questions in this survey are made available and may be reused under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 International (CC-BY-SA-4.0). The CC-BY-SA-4.0 license is available at

Thank You

Linux Foundation Research and our partners are grateful for the contributions of a dedicated group of individuals, all of whom have contributed their time and talents toward the development of this survey.


If you have questions regarding this survey, please email us at

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