Gender bias on Wikipedia

Gender gap problem in Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects

Gender bias on Wikipedia, also known as the Wikipedia gender gap, refers to the fact that Wikipedia contributors are mostly male, the fact that relatively few biographies on Wikipedia are about women, and the concept that topics of interest to women are less well-covered.


  • Beneath its reasonably serene surface, the website can be as ugly and bitter as 4chan and as mind-numbingly bureaucratic as a Kafka story. And it can be particularly unwelcoming to women.
  • Wikipedia is amazing. But it’s become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess.
  • Last week, Wikipedia’s highest court, the Arbitration Committee, composed of 12 elected volunteers who serve one- or two-year terms, handed down a decision in a controversial case having to do with the site’s self-formed Gender Gap Task Force, the goal of which is to increase female participation on Wikipedia from its current 10 percent to 25 percent by the end of next year. The dispute, which involved ongoing hostility from a handful of prickly longtime editors, had simmered for at least 18 months. In the end, the only woman in the argument, pro-GGTF libertarian feminist Carol Moore, was indefinitely banned from all of Wikipedia....
  • Targeted harassment of women online is all too common. One woman has decided to create a Wikipedia page for a woman scientist every time it happens to her.
  • Wikipedia is biased towards men because most of its editors are male, according to a study of the online encyclopedia.
  • The government is spending big bucks to find out why Wikipedia is so sexist.... Last year, a New York Times op-ed called out Wikipedia for having a separate section dedicated to female novelists after the writers were removed from the “American Novelists” page. And others have grumbled that entries on supposedly male-centered subjects like baseball cards and “The Sopranos” are much longer than posts on topics that might be more appealing to women.
  • [Wikipedia] is therefore a reflection of the world's biases more than it is a cause of them. ... If journalists, book publishers, scientific researchers, curators, academics, grant-makers and prize-awarding committees don't recognize the work of women, Wikipedia's editors have little foundation on which to build. ... We may not be able to change how society values women, but we can change how women are seen, and ensure that they are seen to begin with.
  • The gender disparity among editors, in other words, has led to serious issues with Wikipedia’s content. One longtime editor, the Chicago-based college student Emily Temple-Wood, said she’s identified almost than 4,400 female scientists who meet Wikipedia’s standards for notability, but don’t have a page.
  • It’s not just Wikipedia’s editor demographics that point to a gender gap at the company. Perhaps the fact that it’s a company that is comprised, in part, by anonymous users on the Internet makes a gender gap impossible to avoid. Despite all the progress that women in the workplace have made over the past century, the Internet is still largely a new frontier.
  • Of course, I wasn't the only woman dealing with this shit, and eventually the toxic environment started ripping Wikipedia apart from the inside. Over the next five years, the number of Wikipedia editors shrank by over a third, with most of those that left being women.