Diversity in the R Community

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In the follow-up to the useR! conference in Stanford last year, the Women in R Task force took the opportunity to survey the 900-or-so participants about their backgrounds, experiences and interests. With 455 responses, the recently-published results provide an interesting snapshot about the R community (or at least that subset able to travel to the US and who were able to register before the conference sold out). Among the findings (there are summaries; check the report for the detailed breakdowns):

  • 33% of attendees identified as women
  • 26% of attendees identified as other than White or Caucasian
  • 5% of attendees identified as LGBTQ

The report also includes some interesting demographic analysis of the attendees, including the map of home country distribution shown below. The report also offers recommendations for future conferences, one of which has already been implemented: the useR!2017 conference in Brussels will offer child-care for the first time.


Relatedly, the Women in R Task Force has since expanded its remit to promoting other under-represented groups in the R community as well. To reflect the new focus, the task force is now called Forwards, and invites members of the R community to participate. If you have an interest in supporting diversity in race, gender, sexuality, class or disability, follow that link to get in touch.

Forwards: Mapping useRs

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