Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender gap task force

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Scope Talk Article
Participants Promotional
To do Related
Gender Studies
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Gender gap task force: exploring and closing the gender gap on Wikipedia

Welcome to the Gender gap task force, a task force belonging to WikiProject Countering systemic bias. A task force consists of a group of editors devoted to the management of a particular issue or topic on Wikipedia. This page has been set up to ease coordination of our efforts.

If you'd like to help out in any way, please add your name to the list of participants.



Further information: Meta:Gender gap and Gender bias on Wikipedia
We Can Edit.jpg

The aim of the task force is to identify and take steps to counter gender bias on Wikipedia. This includes (1) gender bias that influences the proportion of female editors, (2) the interaction of women editors with other editors, (3) how policies are written and implemented, and (4) selection biases in the way articles are chosen for creation and deletion along with how their contents are maintained and edited.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Factors cited as discouraging women from editing include what the New York Times called the "obsessive fact-loving realm," associations with the "hard-driving hacker crowd," and the need to be "open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists."[2] Articles of particular interest to women tend to be shorter,[7] and women typically perceive Wikipedia to be of lower quality than men do.[8]

The task force seeks to counter these issues, and to raise awareness of how the gender gap can affect editorial and other decisions. A 2011 Wikimedia Foundation survey found that 8.5 percent of editors were women.[9] Sue Gardner, formerly executive director of the Foundation, aimed to increase female enrollment to 25 percent by 2015, and to expand the number of female administrators to 25 percent and eventually 50 percent.[2] In 2014 Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said the Wikimedia Foundation was "doubling down" its efforts to reach that goal and would be doing more outreach and software changes.[10]

Article selection biases based on gender[edit]

Wikipedia has a longstanding controversy concerning systemic bias which has been asserted to cause gender preferences in the selection of articles which are maintained in the open-source encyclopedia (selection biases).[1][2][11][12][13][14] Wikipedia has been criticized[1] by some journalists and academics for lacking extensive and in-depth encyclopedic attention to many topics regarding gender.[2]


Promotional templates[edit]

User box[edit]

Feel free to place this user box on your user page. {{WP:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias/Gender_gap_task_force/gendergaptaskforce}} which creates

Mind the gap1.svg
This user is a member of the
Gender Gap task force.

Invite others![edit]

Invite others to join! To perform a request, insert {{subst:Gender gap TF invitation}} into their talk page. This results in the following welcome message:

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We invite you to join Gender Gap task force. There you can coordinate with users who are trying to identify gender bias on Wikipedia (including gender bias in articles, in editor interactions, policies and implementation of policies) and take steps to counter it. If you would like to get involved, just visit the Gender Gap task force. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or other members of the task force.Happy editing, Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 16:37, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Mind the Gap Award[edit]

To use this award paste the following template with your own message on the userpage: {{subst:Mind the Gap Award|1=Put your message here. ~~~~}}

Mind the gap1.svg Mind the Gap Award

Your message here.

To do[edit]

Affirmative action measures[edit]

  • Set targets for numbers of women in Wikipedia, actively recruit women editors and administrators, help retain women editors by offering aid on issues women face more than do men.
  • Other affirmative action-type proposals that might help women effectively deal with bias and continue editing.
  • Promote! Promote! Promote! Use the templates above and talk up the project to other editors.
  • Petition WMF to disburse funds to an all-female educational institutions stipulating the students become active editors for a year.

Improve biographies of women[edit]

Improve "Resource", "Policy" and "Help" pages[edit]


  • Ensure that categories are used in accordance with the guideline above. Promote changes in the FA and GA criteria to ensure that promoted articles are correctly categorized. (Note: There is a main Category:Women and thousands of categories that have "Women" in their titles. There also are a couple thousand categories with "female" in the title.)

Write essays[edit]


Related projects in other communities These will have useful information, but aren't necessarily organized by or run for Wikimedia communities.

Related WikiProjects[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Justine Cassell (4 February 2011). "Editing Wars Behind the Scenes". New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Noam Cohen, "Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia's Contributor List," The New York Times, 31 January 2011.
  3. ^ James Gleick (29 April 2013). "Wikipedia's Women Problem". The New York Review of Books. 
  4. ^ Amanda Filipacchi, "Wikipedia's Sexism Toward Women Novelists", The New York Times, 24 April 2013.
  5. ^ Kevin Morris (1 May 2013). "Does Wikipedia's sexism problem really prove that the system works?". The Daily Dot. 
  6. ^ Deanna Zandt (26 April 2013). "Yes, Wikipedia Is Sexist – That's Why It Needs You". Forbes. 
  7. ^ Shyong (Tony) K. Lam, et al, "WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance", WikiSym’11, 3–5 October 2011.
  8. ^ S. Lim and N. Kwon, "Gender differences in information behavior concerning Wikipedia, an unorthodox information source?", Library & Information Science Research, 32(3), 2010, pp. 212–220.
  9. ^ "Editor Survey Report – April 2011", Wikimedia Foundation, accessed 7 January 2011.
  10. ^ Wikipedia 'completely failed' to fix gender imbalance, BBC interview with Jimmy Wales, August 8, 2014; starting at 45 seconds.
  11. ^ "Wikipedia's Women Problem". 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  12. ^ Wikipedia's Sexism Toward Women Novelists
  13. ^ Dunn, Gaby (2013-05-01). "Does Sexism Lurk?". Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  14. ^ Zandt, Deanna. "Yes, Wikipedia is Sexist". Retrieved 2013-11-19.