Gender diversity and women in software teams: how do they affect community smells?

Gemma Catolino, Fabio Palomba, Damian Andrew Tamburri, A. Serebrenik, Filomena Ferrucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)
1059 Downloads (Pure)


As social as software engineers are, there is a known and established gender imbalance in our community structures, regardless of their open- or closed-source nature. To shed light on the actual benefits of achieving such balance, this empirical study looks into the relations between such balance and the occurrence of community smells, that is, sub-optimal circumstances and patterns across the software organizational structure. Examples of community smells are Organizational Silo effects (overly disconnected sub-groups) or Lone Wolves (defiant community members). Results indicate that the presence of women generally reduces the amount of community smells. We conclude that women are instrumental to reducing community smells in software development teams.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationSoftware Engineering in Society, ICSE-SEIS 2019
Place of PublicationPiscataway
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-1762-1
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019
Event41st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, (ICSE2019) - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 25 May 201931 May 2019


Conference41st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, (ICSE2019)
Abbreviated titleICSE2019
Internet address


  • Community Smells
  • Empirical Study
  • Gender Balance
  • Software Organizational Structures


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