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Grants:IdeaLab/Face new editors with the possibility of specifying their gender

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Face new editors with the possibility of specifying their gender
Provide a visible and easy way for new editors to supply information about their gender, right at the moment of account creation.
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this project needs...
project manager
created on20:49, Sunday, March 22, 2015 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Many of the ideas created at this IdeaLab share the common problem of accurately identifying female editors. Even studies on the matter, cited in those Ideas and even as a reason for the whole IdeaLab, are sometimes questioned on their accuracy because of the huge amount of editors who don't specify their gender in any way.

What is your solution?[edit]

Current creation account form

This is our current creation account form. It only asks for a username and a password, with the option to specify an email. I believe that if we'd give new users the possibility (i.e. an optional item just like email) to specify their gender, we wouldn't have this problem to start with. This would set the gender option ("He/She edits wiki pages") at Special:Preferences, the same way that filling the field Email address sets the Email option for the new user.

As an extension, we could include other optional demographics data of interest to this form, like country and age (or year of birth, either exact or in a 5-years range). This would also look less awkward than just asking for gender. However, this information is not currently in the data structure of user profiles.

Gender options should include "Other" (this is important, and needs a modification of current binary options) and "I'd rather not say". Similar options should be given for age and country, if applicable.

Add: as user Hiiamahuskey noted, existing users could be reminded to complete this information too, or we could even make the field mandatory the next time they try to update their profile info at Special:Preferences. However, I consider that a separate idea and I don't expect every endorsement here to agree with that extension. For the record, I do think it's a great idea too.

Project goals[edit]

To improve the statistical data about the matter and to provide a way to achieve some of other ideas at this Lab.

Get involved[edit]


  • Designer I'll do whatever I'm needed to do. Hiiamahuskey (talk) 18:02, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. Endorse the idea to offer the option of stating gender, by all means. (Sometimes, though, it's easier for women to participate without letting others know that they are, in fact, female. It allows women to assume a more assertive personification, should they choose to do so.) Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 19:28, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  2. Endorse. If we don't know the gender of our editors, we can't measure progress towards the diversity objective. Nor can we undertake the range of other research proposed. We should ask for gender on sign-up (of course, with an opt-out) with an explanation of why we are asking. It should be made clear that this information is for WMF's statistical/research purposes and not disclosed to others. We have reports and graphs of editor activity on-wiki; let's offer a couple more lines on those graphs: male and female (and I guess "don't know") to see how they change in response to other changes. Let's provide monthly reports on male/female activities any categories which are large enough to prevent gender identification of individual editors. We need this "diversity dashboard" to know what is happening and (in broad terms) when/where it's happening. Kerry Raymond (talk) 21:22, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  3. Endorse I've thought this would be a good idea, too. Also the year of birth or 5-year range would be good. Lightbreather (talk) 19:16, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Expand your idea[edit]

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