Grants:Learning patterns/Fostering affinity groups

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a learning pattern i for: gender gap

Fostering affinity groups

Within the different Wikipedia projects, women represent between 9-20% of the editing community. As a result, as a woman it can be isolating and difficult to know how and when to call attention to the problem, and what to do to promote gender diversity on WIkipedia.

Solution: Create a women's affinity group (or groups)! This is a group designed to talk directly and safely about the challenges, needs, and potential solutions in addressing the gender gap on Wikipedia.

endorsed by: Jwild

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created on: 14 November, 2013

What problem does this solve?[edit]

The lack of gender diversity within the Wikipedia editors (9-20% women) is a stark issue in creating a comprehensive, neutral, global encyclopedia. For those willing to reveal their gender, it can be difficult to find allies amidst the thousands of contributors. This can be demotivating and isolating. It can be difficult to sustain energy against the issue of gender diversity, and it can be hard to create continued learning, rather than focusing isolated events.

What is the solution?[edit]

According to the English Wikipedia, an affinity group is "a group formed around a shared interest or common goal, to which individuals formally or informally belong."[1] Within our Wikimedia movement, such groups provide safe spaces for collaboration and support. Meeting frequently online or in-person are ways to provide:

  • Safe forums for sharing lessons and discussing challenges
  • Encourage community
  • Sustain a conversation around continuous learning of a topic, bringing in datapoints from across the movement

This is being done in some ways already, such as the online WikiWomen's Collaborative. There also has been some diversity conferences to help bring light to these issues and allow people who have experience in them to brainstorm.

General considerations[edit]

  • A safe space policy can be necessary for online and offline events
  • Repetition is important - having continuous meet-ups and targets as a group helps sustain energy and create ways to develop and learn


See also[edit]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]