Grants:Project/Research Grant/A study on analysis of leadership wrt Gender and its impact on projects, individual and community growth in India

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statusnot selected
A study on analysis of leadership wrt Gender and its impact on projects, individual and community growth in India
summaryTo study the gender gaps in the Indian Wikimedia communities and role played by women leadership in attracting participation and retaining volunteers.
targetGender Gap in Leadership in Indian Wikimedia Communities
amount$ 34874.67 (₹ 25,31,203.55)
advisorManavpreet Kaur
this project needs...
created on16:28, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

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

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Over the years, Wikipedia has grown exponentially, wherein 2020, it holds 30.48 GB of content in the form of 3672 million words in 2756 volumes in 313 languages[1]. Wikipedia is predominantly a volunteer community-run project and has a wide diversity of editors in terms of sex and gender, age group, profession, expertise, geographic background, and language. In an online encyclopedia and a global platform as big as Wikipedia, it is important both figuratively and structurally that diversity is promoted. In order to achieve Wikimedia’s vision of a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, then all knowledge has to be written by all people, which means that it has to represent all people[2]”. A balanced male and female participation is believed to make the content more balanced by bringing in different perspectives, experiences, interests, and understanding, thus promoting neutrality in the decision-making processes of the online communities and affiliates. One of the key aspects that have been identified as a priority by various groups is “bridging the gender gap” that exists in terms of editors ratio, content about women & women in leadership. There are many groups and allied organizations that have been actively working to promote the cause and also planning initiatives to bridge the content gap. The content and editor gap is widely accepted, but there is another aspect that requires attention, “Representation of Women in leadership roles”, which has not been explored as much as women editorship. It is important to review the editing and leadership relationship, to address some of the reported observations by researchers in the past. Excerpts of some of the reported studies have raised important concerns which are as follows-

  • Issues such as female sexual and menstrual health are often overlooked by male editors[3].
  • A 2016 study[4] reported that there was a significant difference in-
    • the coverage (biographies) of notable females from different backgrounds as compared to male counterparts from similar fields. Women have made enormous contributions to sciences, politics, and social empowerment and continue to do so. Yet the recognition for these women is not as widespread as men[5].
    • content (Article size) of articles about males versus females.
    • presentation of information and content type in male versus female articles. As women’s biographies were more likely to contain words related to relationship status or family.

When institutions like Wikipedia “involve systematic distortion, then we get farther and farther away from accurate understandings of the world. A lack of female editors means that its content can be hostile to women, which in turn drives away potential female editors[6]. Due to skewed male contribution, many female issues are often overlooked and rarely discussed. Despite various projects (such as various edit-a-thons, Wikiwomen, Inspire campaign, etc.), a huge gender gap persists and many studies have shown stark differences in gender participation in editors. The percentage of female Wikipedia editors is somewhere between 9 and 16%. In 2008, 13% of contributors at Wikipedia were females which increased to 16.1% in 2009. Even so, this is way below the target of 25% female contribution set by Wikipedia. The study by Torress outlines many reasons for this low female contribution. They reported that women feel less confident about their expertise and less comfortable with editing other’s work. This situation is no different in the Indian context. Although the internet penetration in India was almost double in 2012, only 3% of editors from India were women. The women’s participation in the leadership of Indian Wikimedia communities is even lesser[7]. The problem of women’s low participation in editing Wikipedia is also impacted by the limited women leadership. Supposedly, a higher number of women leaders must attract more women to come forward to edit.

What is your solution to this problem?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

One way to address concern of skewed representation of males and females among the leadership in Indian Wikimedia community we will study and identify the factors affecting female participation and identify the potential actions to promote the Women contribution in Wikimedia projects. In order to study the relationship between women leadership and women contribution, we must study how women leadership has performed in the past. In the present study, we will be doing a review and meta review of events organized by females versus males, their outcome, continuation and participation. We will also do a comparative analysis of male-female participation ratio in the activities organized by different leads. This study will help us to look into the gender dynamics and its impact on the project growth.We also intend to do the comparison of individual and project growth for males and females if the required data sets are available

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • Goal 1 - To evaluate the number of males and females in leadership roles in activities and affiliates in Indian Wikimedia communities.
  • Goal 2 - Meta review of participation, outcome and continuation of projects headed by males and females in the last 5 years (2016 - 2020).
  • Goal 3 - To study the editor retention stats of the last five years (2016 - 2020).
  • Goal 4 - To study the impact of these gender patterns on the performance of affiliates.
  • Goal 5 - To find out the reasons for the gender gap in leadership and suggest ways to reduce this gender gap in leadership among the Indian Wikimedia projects.

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Once the project is over, we will be able to empirically say whether a gender gap exists among the leadership of Indian Wikimedia Community. We would also be in a position to measure the impact it has in terms of resource allocation, and performance of two clusters (males and females) under study. The analysis of the collected data will reveal the growth pattern of male and female editors to leadership roles, meta report on activities, their outcome and iterations. Furthermore, the interviews with females in leadership roles will help in understanding the reasons for the gender gap and possible solutions for the problem.

This study will be a step forward towards understanding the gender patterns in Wikimedia communities in India. This will lead to better judgment while allocating events, and resources associated with it. This will help identify the statistics of gender representation and its impact on the growth of Wiki projects, activities & affiliates further resulting in better performance and synergy in the movement as a whole.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.


Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

The proposed study will be conducted on the various language based groups in Indian Wikimedian communities. The reasons of selection are-

  • Indian Wikimedia community has been steadily increasing in size and Indian communities, such as Punjabi and Tamil user groups, have been leading the two iterations of Project Tiger edit-a-thon.
  • Even though Indian Wikimedia community is big, no meta-review of past activities has been conducted on Indian Wikimedia communities. Therefore, we propose to undertake the present study.

We will gather the required data from the dashboards of various activities, reports, etc. We will use this data to study the gender based patterns among the wikimedia community leadership. To determine the individual challenges for the gender gaps, we will also interview the female leaders identified through the data review for discussions on the factors affecting the participation and experiences. Using the results of the interviews, we will try to formulate suggestions to counter the gender gap.


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too! Category Number of Unit Cost per unit (in dollars) Total cost in dollars
1. Project Manager -20hrs per week (52 weeks/12 months) 1 12/ hour 12480
2. Co-project Investigator- 20hrs/week (52 weeks/12 months) 1 12/ hour 12480
3. Group Discussion meeting with 15 women participants 1 150 150
4. Travel and accommodation - 1000
5. Storage Devices (external hard drives) 1 55 55
6. Voice recorder 1 96 96
7. Private contractor for Statistical Analysis 1 137.57 137.57
8. Graphic Designer 1 1500 1500
9. Communication (phone and internet) Expenses 1 132 132
10. Documentary production 1 750 750
11. Research Expenses (stationary, facilitation, and publication expenses) 1 690 690
12. Honorarium/ Merchandise for Participants 15 14 210
13. Total 29680.57
14. Contingency expenses (7.5% of total expenses) -       2226.04275
15. Fiscal sponsorship (10% of total budget) 2968.057
Grand Total -       34874.67

Community engagement[edit]

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

For more inclusivity, we will post on social media channels as well as mail to key communication points (Mailing list or Village Pump whatever advisable) to let the communities know about the project. We will also discuss the findings of the study with the communities.

Get involved[edit]


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

Praveen Kumar Yadav - I completed my doctorate last year and am currently working as Assistant Professor at Cochin University of Science and Technology. I have been part of different research projects for the past 6 years. I will be the primary project investigator and will be responsible for collecting and interpreting the data along with the report writing and publication of the results.

Nitesh Gill - She is a leading Wikimedian. She has written more than #1000 articles on notable women and her marathon is still ongoing. She is one of the leading Wikimedians in India. She will be supporting the proposed study, in the designing process by providing the insights and will play an important role in identifying the key points in the observations. Her experience of working with communities will help provide us with observation context. She will also be responsible for communications with the women leaders. Some of the media coverage to the work was done [1] [2].

Manavpreet Kaur - A Ph.D. PDF by qualification, a long-term Wikimedian. She has led various initiatives in India and has a good community understanding. She has been the lead in various projects like- Wiki Conference India 2016, Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing, Women Train the Trainers Program, Syberthon 2020, etc. She is also proposing WomenCamp be organized in India. She will be the Advisor to this project. She has been extensively engaged in designing the proposal. As an observer she will be providing us insights and inputs at relevant intervals.

Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • The gender gap is a major issue in most of our communities. This is required to study the problems and solutions also. This is the perfect time to do this. Sangram Keshari Senapati (talk) 12:12, 22 March 2021 (UTC)