Our last survey of Wikipedia writers estimated that fewer than 20% identify as women. Since we don’t require or record personal information from our users, we only know when we ask. We also know that approximately 18% of biographies on Wikipedia are of women. There are many reasons for this, and they reflect structural inequalities in opportunity and representation around the world.
We strive for Wikipedia’s collection of knowledge to contain the full, rich diversity of all humanity. We have a growing list of initiatives dedicated to making that dream a reality and we hope they inspire additional action in this spirit.
What we’re doing
- We have gender diversity criteria for event scholarships, and grants we award to chapters and user groups to increase the gender diversity of leadership, participation, and content.
- We award grants to volunteers to solicit and support ideas to address these issues. These projects include the first Wikipedian-in-Residence for gender equity.
- We fund hundreds of in-person events from small meetups and local editathons, to global conferences to support increased gender diversity. They address content gaps, editor recruitment and retention, community health, and more.
- To provide more welcoming and safe spaces for all participants, we have Friendly Space Policies for all of our events, and Friendly Space Expectations for our online discussion spaces.
- We commissioned a report on the current state of our gender equity efforts to better understand motivations, best practices, and challenges, as well as support connection between leaders.
How you can help
Write and edit biographies about women
Women in Red are known for helping newcomers navigate the technical rules of Wikipedia. They have put together a primer for creating women’s biographies” and “Ten Simple Rules for Creating Women’s Biographies”.
If you are looking for a place to start editing, you can start with the lists on women that are notable by Wikipedia’s standards. You can also tweet or post about new articles on social media (including the handle @WikiWomenInRed), help find archival material, or help access photos.
Improve content on feminism, gender and the arts
Art+Feminism improves content on feminism, gender and the arts on Wikipedia. Their events feature tutorials for beginner Wikipedians, ongoing editing support, and reference materials. Many also have childcare and refreshments available.
How to help: You can find upcoming events and more information on the Art + Feminism homepage.
Share reference material for articles
Join the Gender Diversity Visibility Community User Group to help volunteer groups who work in the area of content gender gaps through providing access to reference material for content creation and partnerships.
- Advancing Gender Equity: Conversations with movement leaders, the result of our Gender Diversity Mapping Project to review our gender equity efforts.
- Op-ed by Executive Director Katherine Maher in the Los Angeles Times, in which she writes of the need for “contributors and editors to pay more attention to the accomplishments of women”.
- Profile of scientist Jess Wade, who is working to increase the number of underrepresented scientists and engineers on Wikipedia.
- Our complete coverage of gender equity work in our posted news.