There is a gender gap in Wikipedia and the other projects in the Wikimedia Movement. This page exists to help store information and ideas and to catalog projects that are trying to close that gap.
This subject is very sensitive. People who want to talk about the gender gap are sometimes victims of harassment. Before publicly discussing the topic, assure yourself that you have secured and manage your online identity well.
Are you from the press or media? Writing a story about the gender gap or gender issues on Wikipedia & its sister sites? Contact presswikimedia.org to connect with community members who are subject matter specialists in the gender gap.
The gender gap has long been known to exist in computer-related occupations, and indeed the Wikimedia community was aware of this issue from the very early days.
The first large-scale publication that attempted to quantify the gap was a survey[dead link] (archive) conducted by the United Nations University and published in March 2010. However, as with any online survey where participation is not random, it gives biased results which do not permit us to quantify the gender gap precisely.
Thus, even though research on solutions to close the gap is one of the objectives of this page, the page seeks above all to adequately quantify it, in particular by presenting studies on the subject and by collecting evidence about why women leave or never join Wikipedia.
This is a list of some of the most important media, essays, and viewpoints (in English) that have been published recently about the gender gap.
- Unlocking the Clubhouse: Five ways to encourage women to edit Wikipedia, Sue Gardner's Blog, November 14, 2010.
- Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List, Noam Cohen in the New York Times, January 30, 2011.
- Where Are the Women in Wikipedia? Debate with a number of debaters, New York Times, February 2, 2011.
- Wikipedia(EN) Signpost Issue on Gender Gap, February 7, 2011.
- Top 10 Reasons to Encourage more Women Participation in Wikipedia here on Meta, February 8, 2011.
- Nine Reasons Women Don’t Edit Wikipedia (in their own words), Sue Gardner's Blog, February 19, 2011.
- Gender Gap Manifesto.
- Sook Lim; Nahyun Kwon (2010). "Gender differences in information behavior concerning Wikipedia, an unorthodox information source?". Library and Information Science Research 32 (3): 212-220. DOI: 10.1016/j.lisr.2010.01.003. Retrieved on 2012-08-02.
- Antin, J.; Yee, R.; Cheshire, C.; Nov, O. (2011). "Gender Differences in Wikipedia Editing". WikiSym. http://research.yahoo.com/pub/3634.
- Steiner, Linda; Eckert, Stine (2012). http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p550635_index.html.
- Lam, S. K.; Uduwage, A.; Dong, Z.; Sen, S.; Musicant, D. R.; Terveen, L.; Riedl, J. (2011). "WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Imbalance". WikiSym. http://www.grouplens.org/node/466.
- Collier, Benjamin; Bear, Julia (2012), "Conflict, criticism, or confidence: an empirical examination of the gender gap in Wikipedia contributions", Proc. of CSCW, DOI:10.1145/2145204.2145265
- Hill BM, Shaw A (2013). "The Wikipedia Gender Gap Revisited: Characterizing Survey Response Bias with Propensity Score Estimation". PLoS ONE 8 (6). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065782. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
- Laniado, David; Castillo, Carlos; Kaltenbrunner, Andreas; Fuster Morell, Mayo (Aug 27–29, 2012). "Emotions and dialogue in a peer-production community: the case of Wikipedia". WikiSym. Linz, Austria: ACM Press. http://chato.cl/papers/laniado_kaltenbrunner_castillo_fuster_2012_emotions_wikipedia.pdf.
The initial research that increased attention on this issue was from a UNU survey, the results of which can be viewed and downloaded at wikipediasurvey.org[dead link] (archive). However, like all surveys where who responds is self-selected, it was biased towards certain types of demographics, and it gives us only a rough working idea of how big the gender gap is.
While we discuss practical projects for inviting women to edit (see the section below), we should think about how measuring the gender gap accurately can be done. We should also collect some anecdotal stories about why women leave Wikipedia or never join to begin with, as a way of showing people what the gender gap feels like on a more personal level.
The gender gap mailing list is the best place to talk about this with other people who are interested and can help. Started on January 31st, 2011, it has a mix of longtime Wikimedians and people from other fields who arrived through their interest in the subject, so it's helpful to introduce yourself in your first post.
Since this is a sensitive topic, the mailing list has a simple code of conduct. The basic gist is: please be considerate and constructive. That means ...
- No personal attacks
- Try to stay on topic and take other things off-list
- Try to turn fighting into constructive discussion, or disengage/take it off-list
- Help guide discussion toward concrete action
- Be aware that using an aggressive or argumentative tone (or even just posting too much) can discourage people from participating
You don't have to join the mailing list or read the recent press to help correct the gender gap. You don't need to have edited before either! If you're interested, the following projects need the help of women and men alike to be successful, so don't be shy about joining in.
Resources within Wikimedia communities
- Check out the list of proposals for more female editors. A lot these come from the mailing list, and you can add more.
- Outreach Village Pump is a good place to discuss outreach to women.
- Draft letter(s) for outreach to women friends and networks.
- Workshop for Women in Wikipedia. Originated by Indian Wikipedians project now suggests workshop content and provides a list of past related workshops, as well as a list of Wikipedia editors who have conducted and/or will conduct workshops for women interested in editing Wikipedia. Part of Wikipedia Workshop.
- en:Wikipedia:Teahouse, which helps new editors become accustomed to community culture, ask questions, and develop community relationships, was especially created with women in mind.
Projects within Wikimedia communities
- WikiProject Feminism and WikiProject Women's History on English Wikipedia.
- Wikiproyecto:Feminismo in Spanish
- es:Wikiproyecto:Ciencia,_Tecnología_y_Género in Spanish
- Projet:Femmes in French
- Wikiprojekt:Gender Studies in Polish
- Wikipedia:Projekt kvinnor in Swedish
- Wikipedia for kvinder in Danish
- Women on Wikipedia Month 2011 events for March and International Women's Day
- WikiWomen's History Month ongoing project
- Wikimedia WikiWomenCamp May 2012 event in Buenos Aires
- NY Wiki Chics, a New York outreach project by Wikimedians
- Research: WikiWomen's Collaborative, a volunteer driven initiative to bridge the gender gap
- Wikimedia Diversity Conference A international conference in November 2013
Related projects in other communities
These will have useful information, but aren't necessarily organized by or run for Wikimedia communities.