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.
Are you from the press or media? Are you writing a story about the gender gap or gender issues on Wikipedia and sister projects? Contact presswikimedia.org to connect with community members who are subject matter specialists.
The Wikimedia community was aware of the gender gap from its earliest days, but the first large-scale study that tried to quantify it was a survey conducted by the United Nations University and published in March 2010.
This page seeks to act as a hub for resources and information about Wikimedia's gender gap, and to adequately quantify the gender gap, in particular by presenting studies on the subject and by collecting anecdotal evidence about why women leave or never join Wikipedia.
- For more English-language articles, see Gender gap task force/Media
A selection of articles 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.
- Wikipedia's gender gap and the complicated reality of systemic gender bias, Adrianne Wadewitz in HASTAC, July 26, 2013.
- Gender Gap Manifesto, created March 2011 by seven Wikimedia editors.
- "Charting Diversity: Working together towards diversity in Wikipedia." Wikimedia Deutschland cooperated with the Beuth University of Applied Science to write a paper about diversity in Wikipedia. It begins with a review of the situation in the German Wikipedia and then offers different concepts and possibilities about how to improve diversity in Wikipedia. August 2014.
- Advancing gender equity: Conversations with movement leaders. Wikimedia Foundation published a report that highlights the experiences of 65 Wikimedians working toward gender equity on Wikimedia projects. It covers motivations, best practices, and challenges. September 2018.
- Antin, J.; Yee, R.; Cheshire, C.; Nov, O. (2011). "Gender Differences in Wikipedia Editing". WikiSym.
- 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
- 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" (PDF). WikiSym. Linz, Austria: ACM Press.
- Stine Eckert; Linda Steiner (2013). "(Re)triggering Backlash: Responses to News About Wikipedia’s Gender Gap". Journal of Communication Inquiry 37 (284): 284–303. DOI: 10.1177/0196859913505618.
- Hill B.M., 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steiner, Linda; Eckert, Stine (2012). Wikipedia's Gender Gap: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, Phoenix, AZ, May 24, 2012. (PDF)
A brief survey of existing research findings is in-progress at Research:Gender gap. You can help improve it!
- Sumana Harihareswara's talk "Hospitality, Jerks, and What I Learned"
- Ewan McAndrew's talk "Wikipedia 15: Wikipedia's content gender gap"
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 gist is, 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.
The Gender Gap Task Force (GGTF) on the English Wikipedia was set up in 2013 to discuss issues that might be making the gender gap worse there, and to offer a space where people can ask for help with articles.
In 2020, a Telegram channel is opened to host discussions. It may be joined following that link : https://t.me/joinchat/DS2I3BY-f3dxvUNzNd72kg
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
- There are different grant opportunities from the Wikimedia Foundation to fund your project ideas to reduce the gender gap. A good place to start is with Rapid Grants (under 2,000 USD and proposals accepted year-round). Larger projects can apply for a Project Grant and there are Conference Grants for in-person regional or thematic events.
- Check out the list of proposals for more female editors. A lot these come from the mailing list, and you can add more.
- Draft letter(s) for outreach to women friends and networks.
- Gender Gap resources An attempt to create a comprehensive, sortable list of relevant resources. In progress.
- Outreach Village Pump is a good place to discuss outreach to women.
- Wikimedia Diversity Conference
- Gender Diversity Mapping and the Gender equity report 2018
- The Wikipedia Teahouse is a friendly place that helps new editors become accustomed to Wikipedia culture, ask questions, and develop community relationships. It was especially created with women in mind.
- The Wikipedia Workshop for Women (originated by WikiProject India) suggests workshop content, provides lists of past and upcoming 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.
Projects within Wikimedia communities
- on English Wikipedia:
- Gender gap task force
- WikiProject Feminism
- WikiProject Gender Studies
- WikiProject Indian women and gender issues
- WikiProject Jewish women
- WikiProject Women
- WikiProject Women artists
- WikiProject Women's health
- WikiProject Women's history
- WikiProject Women's History Month
- WikiProject Women in Red
- WikiProject Women scientists
- WikiProject Women's sport
- WikiProject Women in technology
- Wikiproject Women Wikipedia Design
- WikiProject Women writers
- For more see: en:Category:Women-related WikiProjects
- Wikimedia WikiWomenCamp May 2012 event in Buenos Aires
- NY Wiki Chics, a New York outreach project by Wikimedians
- Wikimedia Diversity Conference A international conference in November 2013
- WikiWomen's Collaborative, a volunteer driven initiative to bridge the gender gap
Related projects in other communities
These will have useful information, but aren't necessarily organized by or run for Wikimedia communities.
- Ada Initiative, a non-profit working to increase participation of women in open technology and culture
- Anita Borg Institute, a social enterprise founded on the belief that women are vital to building technology that the world needs
- GeekFeminism, a blog
- Geek Feminism Wiki, a Wikia site
- Wikipedia Women, a public Facebook group
- Wikipedia Systers - coming February 2015; an Anita Borg Institute Systers forum for women Wikipedia editors
- WikiWomens Collaborative, a Facebook community page born of the WikiWomen's Collaborative
- Glott, Ruediger; Schmidt, Philipp; Ghosh, Rishab; et al. (March 2010). "Wikipedia Survey - Overview of Results" (PDF). UNU-MERIT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011.
- Glott, Ruediger; Schmidt, Philipp; Ghosh, Rishab; et al. (March 2010). "Quality of Wikipedia Content" (PDF). UNU-MERIT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011.
- Glott, Ruediger; Schmidt, Philipp; Ghosh, Rishab; et al. (March 2010). "Reasons for non-contribution" (PDF). UNU-MERIT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011.
- Glott, Ruediger; Ghosh, Rishab (March 2010). "Age and Gender Differences" (PDF). UNU-MERIT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011.