Friday, February 11, 2011

Wikipedia gender gap

According to this New York Times story, less than 15% of Wikipedia contributors are female.   This imbalance may be due to "the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women."

A "participation rate of roughly 85-to-15 percent, men to women, is common" among contributors to “public thought-leadership forums".  It is thought that women possess less confidence to assert their opinions than men do.  This may be especially true in situations where women are a minority, so one group advocates "recruiting women as a group to fields or forums where they are under-represented. That way, a solitary woman does not face the burden alone."  Similar to women going to the bathroom in restaurants?

Apparently, this gender imbalance developed as a result of Wikipedia "letting things develop naturally."  Speaking of things developing naturally, I couldn't help but smile at Richard Whitmire's comment on this story:

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