The Wiki Gender Gap and DoSomething.org
It’s a simple formula–find a problem and then do something about it.
DoSomething.org is a nonprofit giving kids the structure and support they need to change their world. The problem? 90% of Wikipedia editors are men. So the Girls-Only Edit-a-Thon was born, a group project to encourage girls to host edit-a-thon parties and work on female-focused wiki pages together. The DoSomething.org platform page for the campaign provides information, support, suggestions, and a blueprint for change. Girls and groups from all over the world can sign up and sign on to do some good.
Does Wikipedia have a gender gap among its editors, and if so, does that fact bias content on the site? Wikimedia, the umbrella organization that manages Wikipedia, says yes to both. It is believed that the hacker/high-conflict culture drives many women away from engaging in thoughtful discourse. Wikipedia, in their article about the wiki gender gap, describes several contributing factors. A high-tech skills gap was noted, along with the conflict culture and gender differences in language and linguistics.
Wikipedia leadership has committed to making a difference in gender disparity, in wiki-type language: “We’re going to double-down on this problem!” Several other changes are being developed, including the Wikipedia Teahouse, a friendlier user-interface with welcoming for newcomers. In addition to the Girls-Only Edit-a-Thon, which is targeted to high school aged teens, there has been an edit-a-thon yearly for the past several years called Women in Science. The goal of this yearly online activity is to increase the number of prominent women in science with Wiki pages.