Observable Diversity in Software Engineering: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Gema Rodríguez-Pérez Reza Nadri Meiyappan Nagappan

Venue: EMSE   Empirical Software Engineering, Vol. 26, No. 5, pp. 102, 2021

Year: 2021

Abstract: We define perceived diversity as the diversity factors that individuals are born with. Perceived diversity in Software Engineering has been recognized as a high-value team property and companies are willing to increase their efforts to create more diverse work teams. The current diversity state-of-the-art shows that gender diversity studies have been growing during the past decade, and they have shown the benefits of including women in software teams. However, less is known about how other perceived diversity factors such as race, nationality, disability, and age of developers are related to Software Engineering. Through a systematic literature review, we aim to clarify the research area concerned with perceived diversity in Software Engineering. Our goal is to identify (1) what issues have been studied and what results have been reported; (2) what methods, tools, models, and processes have been proposed to help perceived diversity issues; and (3) what limitations have been reported when studying perceived diversity in Software Engineering. Furthermore, our ultimate goal is to identify gaps in the current literature and create a call for future action in perceived diversity in Software Engineering. Our results indicate that the individual studies have typically had a gender diversity perspective focusing on showing gender bias or gender differences instead of developing methods and tools to mitigate the gender diversity issues faced in SE. Moreover, perceived diversity aspects related to SE participants’ race, age, and disability need to be further analyzed in Software Engineering research. From our systematic literature review, we conclude that researchers need to consider a wider set of perceived diversity aspects for future research.


    author = "Gema Rodríguez-Pérez and Reza Nadri and Meiyappan Nagappan",
    title = "Observable Diversity in Software Engineering: A Systematic Literature Review",
    year = "2021",
    pages = "102",
    journal = "Empirical Software Engineering",
    volume = "26",
    number = "5"

Plain Text:

Gema Rodríguez-Pérez, Reza Nadri, and Meiyappan Nagappan, "Observable Diversity in Software Engineering: A Systematic Literature Review," Empirical Software Engineering, pp. 102