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Wikimania 2013 participants

Many in our community have rallied around the idea that diversity in the Wikimedia movement is essential to its mission. We have thought of numerous approaches to improving diversity, and begun testing them in different projects and regions.

This page provides some points for talking about the importance of diversity in Wikimedia, and aims to generate a clear call to action for anyone who wants to get involved in fostering increased diversity in the Wikimedia community. Help us broaden and deepen our community and our content!

Defining diversity[edit]

Wikipedia gender diversity meetup at Wikimania 2013

When we talk about diversity in Wikimedia, we refer both to having diversity in terms of our base of contributors and the content that we create. Diversity means both variety and difference, and its presence helps to foster inclusion and equality.

We aspire for the diversity in Wikimedia projects to be a mirror and a representation of the diversity of the world.

Why it matters for Wikimedia[edit]

Our goal is to share the sum of all human knowledge with every person on the planet. Having diverse contributors and content is necessary to achieve this. Where we are missing important voices, we may also be missing important context and information.

The basis of our projects is to create "free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute." Diversity directly connects to Wikimedia movement values of freedom, accessibility, quality, independence, openness, transparency, and community.

The more points of view we have, the better able we will be to reflect the full diversity of human knowledge, and to represent it completely and fairly. Each person is a part of the human crowd, and each person should be represented in developing humanity's shared source of free knowledge.

Known diversity issues[edit]

Grantmaking lunch at Wikimania 2013
  • The gender gap varies from country to country and project to project, but overall only 9% of Wikipedia editors worldwide are women.[1]
  • Although 82% of the population lives in the Global South, only 21% of active contributors to Wikimedia projects come from this part of the world.[2]

How we grow diversity[edit]

Arabic Wikipedians at Wikimania 2013
Wikimedia Diversity Conference in Berlin in 2013

When we talk about gaps in diversity on Wikipedia, we mean that we are missing people, and missing content because there are gaps in the full breadth and depth of interests and perspectives that create the sum of all human knowledge.

We aim to create an open and welcoming environment for all contributors. This means that we are not only welcoming and supportive to people from all backgrounds, but that we actively invite, support, and engage diverse contributors in building our projects and advancing our mission.

Encouraging diversity is not about disparaging existing contributors, or anyone being "wrong"; it's about adding and amplifying more voices, especially those that have been left out thus far. Exclusion is not always intentional--indeed, it's often completely accidental--but we are still better off when we include more people in our projects.

Increasing diversity is about inviting more voices to our community, helping and acknowledging them, showing their faces and personalities as a valued part of our community, and creating supportive spaces where people feel a sense of belonging and purpose.

By experimenting with a variety of diversity initiatives in the Wikimedia movement, we aim to raise awareness, increase understanding, and encourage contributions to our projects from people of any age, gender, sexual orientation, language, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, geographical location, physical and intellectual ability, mental and emotional health, or other background.

What we don't yet know[edit]

What do you want to know about diversity in our communities?



Get involved[edit]


Do you believe increasing diversity is important to Wikimedia? Add your support here.

  1. Siko (talk) 22:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Tim Moritz (buecherwuermlein) 22:53, 22 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Pakeha (talk) 08:31, 23 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 19:32, 24 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. --Julia Kloppenburg (WMDE) (talk) 10:34, 25 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Lvova (talk) 13:59, 25 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 08:54, 27 November 2013 (UTC) - I attended this workshop and support the summary written out here[reply]
  8. Ocaasi (talk) 15:43, 27 November 2013 (UTC) (Fun is Serious Business... Attract more diversity with invitation, acknowledgment, showing people, and playful design)[reply]
  9. --Cornelia Trefflich (WMDE) (talk) 11:43, 28 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --Another Believer (talk) 17:50, 5 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:19, 5 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Varnent (talk)(COI) 15:36, 6 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:24, 17 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Frhdkazan (talk) 05:20, 28 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Rajeeb (talk!) 13:01, 24 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  16. EMsmile (talk) 07:50, 12 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Lomoraronald (talk) 20:51, 09 May 2022 (EAT)
  18. Lantuszka (talk) 22:15, 8 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  19. add your name here!

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