R-Ladies is a worldwide organization whose mission is to promote gender diversity in the R community

The R community suffers from an underrepresentation of minority genders (including but not limited to cis/trans women, trans men, non-binary, genderqueer, agender) in every role and area of participation, whether as leaders, package developers, conference speakers, conference participants, educators, or users (see recent stats).

As a diversity initiative, the mission of R-Ladies is to achieve proportionate representation by encouraging, inspiring, and empowering people of genders currently underrepresented in the R community. R-Ladies’ primary focus, therefore, is on supporting minority gender R enthusiasts to achieve their programming potential, by building a collaborative global network of R leaders, mentors, learners, and developers to facilitate individual and collective progress worldwide.

R-Ladies Organization Structure

R-Ladies organigram

R-Ladies Rules & Guidelines

  • Free: Public events run by R-Ladies are always offered free of charge to participants.

  • R Language/Environment specific: The contextual subject/domain scope of R-Ladies’ diversity initiative is specifically the open source R community.

  • Leadership, Mentorship, Membership, Presenters/Speakers & Prioritization of Underrepresented/Minority Genders: In line with R-Ladies’ Mission Statement, community roles and participation is reserved and prioritised, respectively, for the genders who are currently underrepresented in the R community. As such, Leadership roles within R-Ladies communities, particularly Organiser and any Mentor roles, are to be held by people of a minority gender. If there exists sufficient choice to have Presenters/Speakers at R-Ladies who identify as a minority gender, this is the preferred option. However, the choice of Presenters/Speakers is up to the relevant local Organisers’ discretion, depending on availability and potential value/learning opportunity of those who volunteer.

  • Rules for Participation of Represented/Majority Gender: In line with R-Ladies’ Mission Statement, the genders/identities which are not underrepresented in the R community are not within the scope of this diversity initiative. The known majority gender group, cis men, can participate in an R-Ladies’ community within an appropriately designed framework, as per the relevant local Organisers’ discretion, e.g., as an invited guest of/sponsored by a Member, as a full Member etc. The majority of the speakers at any R-Ladies chapter needs to be of a minority gender and there is a strong recommendation for maximum one cis-male speaker per event. Given this majority gender’s dominance in the general R community, there is no obligation for R-Ladies to focus/provide/allow comparable support or engage with this majority identity, particularly at the expense of the target minority gender groups - as such, it is feasible to enable, for example, Meetup membership requests to require Organizer approval, and allowing only those identifying as the target minorities to join the R-Ladies.

    • Note: Please do be aware of the relevant Equality Legislation in your jurisdiction, e.g the Equality Act 2010 in the UK, when designing participation frameworks for the majority gender, to ensure your procedures are not infringing local laws re. potential discrimination.
  • R-Ladies Code of Conduct: All members must follow the Code of Conduct.

  • Community-Driven administration, independent of External influences: R-Ladies does not have permanent ties or links to external sponsors or parties. Appropriate sponsorship and support which does not seek to dictate or influence R-Ladies Mission-driven activities/decision-making but enhances the community’s operations and impact is welcomed. Local R-Ladies Organisers are encouraged to gain appropriate support which does not compromise the community’s independence.

  • No commercial agenda: Chapters are started by individuals, not by companies. Chapters can partner with companies for sponsorship in the form of venue space, food or other supplies. Chapters and events may not be ‘used’ by a corporation/as a commercial vehicle for private aims. This also means that speakers cannot give talks about paid products/services, even if they don’t work at the company offering the product/service.


Chapters are set up by R-Leaders (identifying as a minority gender) in cities around the world. In this guide you will find information about how to get started. Each R-Ladies chapter is expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the following stipulations:

  • Use of the Meetup platform to help organise and promote chapter events, with appropriate name, e.g. “R-Ladies [Location]”

  • Use of a social media accounts to help promote chapter events and publicise R-Ladies Global activities and news, with appropriate name, e.g. @RLadies[Location]

  • Pro-active participation by chapter leaders in the R-Ladies Organizers Slack as the main centralised communication platform for R-Ladies community engagement, and collective decision-making.

  • Pro-active sharing of relevant learnings, conferences/events, resources, news, achievements, ideas, projects, and proposals via the R-Ladies Slack, social media, and github by chapter leaders.

Email chapters@rladies.org for inquiries about creating a new chapter or reactivating a chapter that is currently inactive. If you are already a chapter organizer, you can message on slack #new_chapters (or #organisers) with any questions.

Depending on the local context, folks might be used to only thinking about women in tech. Make sure to explain to participants that we include all gender minorities.