Learning patterns/Number of women participating
What problem does this solve?
This learning pattern discusses ways to measure how many women are participating in a event, project, or program. One of the goals of the Inspire Campaign is to increase the number of women editing on the Wikimedia projects.
What is the solution?
General guidelines to follow when gathering personal information
- Be sure to check your local laws. There may be differences in privacy laws based on where you reside or where the data is being collected. To be sure you are collecting, using, and retaining data in a manner compliant with applicable laws, please consult a local privacy attorney.
- Gender information should be preferably collected in a database separately from username or real name data. If gender data is shared with others, intentionally or unintentionally, users would be better protected because their gender would not be in the same database.
- If gender information is gathered in a way that it is associated with the username or real name, only share out gender information in an aggregated way that protects the privacy of users.
- In most cases, you can disclose information, no matter how personal, if the affected user gives explicit permission to. This means that if you want to be public about the gender of specific users, you can, if the affected users explicitly and preferably in writing (e.g. affirmatively marking a check box or emailing permission) gives their consent to disclose that information. Similarly, in surveys, if you are very clear and conspicuous that information disclosed through the survey will be public, then you can disclose the information in most cases. Be sure to check your local laws to make sure this applies to you!
- If you have any questions about the process for gathering this data, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can assist you or try to find someone who can. Please note that the Wikimedia Foundation cannot provide you with legal advice or representation.
Use cases for gathering Number of women participating
Using a Wiki page
- Offer both a combination of both wiki and non-wiki ways to report gender. For example, if someone would rather not sign up for a "Women's Editathon" publicly, make sure to include a separate survey link where they can sign up privately.
- In general, it is recommended to give users the option to provide their gender anonymously from their username, for both online or offline surveys. In one survey, users provide anonymously all personal information, except their username. In a second survey, users can report their username, as well as any additional information, such as their occupation, or what they learned during the event.
- Be sure to include specific language about how the personal information will be used.
- Be cautious when gathering as well as storing the data you collect. Typically, it is better to protect datasets that include personal information with a password.
- Retain data for only as long as you actually need it, then dispose of it in a secure manner.
- Use the following question for any survey:
Which gender do you identify with?
- Another identity
- Prefer not to say
- We use four options because we want to be careful with exposing who is responding to a survey even if the survey is anonymous. Some surveys offer many more options, for example: transmale/transfemale, genderqueer, etc. The issue with these options is that the number of people who may select an identity categories outside of "male" and "female" is often small, making it easy to learn who the survey respondent is and exposing their responses. It is a better practice, for the privacy of these individuals, to aggregate identities into as large a category as possible.