Top 10 Reasons to Encourage More Women Participation in Wikipedia
This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.
1) Improve the quality of information. Information is shaped by perspective, regardless of how NPOV you aim to be, and perspective is shaped by experience. When you experience the world in a certain perspective, you see things that others don't see. A Chinese immigrant in the United States may notice things that a American born may not see, just like it is very likely that a female may notice things their male counterparts don't see.
2) Open doors to more groups. The inclusion of women might have a domino affect, and open doors for other groups, particularly those that are traditionally dis-empowered, such as people of color in the United States. In Austria, there might be a very similar result. Currently, there are very few Austrian female contributors, so there is a great chance to win new users. In addition to that, an inclusion of more women would IMHO probably make articles easier to read for female contributors since they somehow have different logics than male users have. (You can include whatever other group you want here..I can only speak to the US).
3) Improved processes and systems. Collaboration is improved by diversity - everyone in this group knows this. More female participation may result in better collaborative brainstorming and problem solving.
4) Better organization. Studies reveal that women tend to be great multi-taskers. IMHO, women are great multitaskers because they also plan their world to be more "efficient" for multitasking. I can totally see a group of women helping improve the organization of Wikipedia's rules, background knowledge, presentation, etc.
5) Stronger community. Reports are also showing that more women than men are on social media. This is because women tend to focus on creating community. A larger, more sophisticated Wikipedian community is so powerful, I'm not even sure how to describe its potential in words. However, it would have the ability to help the projects but bring change worldwide.
6) Better image. Organizations that are ethical are usually favored and respected by society, which increase's an org's success. I am not talking "left vs right," and this is not a philosophical question, it is a public relations one. Talk to any PR practioner and they can share why this works, and examples of organizations taking this PR strategy. And, at a minimum, I can guarantee it will increase how many women worldwide see the project, which btw are 50% of the world's population.
7) Better parties and possibly more Wikilove! As corny as it sounds, I am quite positive that more women will improve the festivities in any wiki get together, and possibly result in more wikilove :) lolol Why not!! What a perfect place to meet someone that shares your interest, and better parties are usually always welcomed.
8) A better world society. Wikipedia has this ability to affect the world and start revolutions in what seems to be very silent but effective ways. I really believe that the inclusion of women will have amazing revolutionary affects on the world, and make it better. Channeling Jeff Bridges, "information is really power, man." And maybe we have come to take for granted that the world is informed/educated through wikipedia on a daily basis. This has an effect.
9) Its the right thing to do. Wikipedia has always gone against the grain, even though at times it ruffled society's feathers b/c transparency in knowledge sharing is more important than the agenda of any group. Its part of the free culture movement, dedicated to empowering people worldwide, and has done much in that area. Why wouldn't it come together now to improve on this systematic problem that affects not only the project, but humans at large.
10) Who else is going to do it? No one has the ability to look and tackle this complex issue like Wikipedian community. No other community has the strength in numbers, intellect, and structure to address an issue like this. I guarantee that other groups will embrace any solutions the community finds, b/c its not Wikipedia is not only a pioneer, but its a "best-in-breed" virtual project that comes up with "best-in-breed" solutions.