[Foundation-l] encouraging women's participation

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Thu Jun 17 01:16:45 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 5:26 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:
> There's been discussion of the gender gap among Wikimedia editors on
> and off for many years now, and it's a focus of the strategic planning
> process. This is a part of a larger issue of how to get members of
> underrepresented groups to edit more, to combat system bias on all
> fronts. (Or, simply how to get more people to edit regardless).
> I just read this article:
> "International Collaboration for Women in IT: How to Avoid Reinventing
> the Wheel"
> http://iisit.org/Vol7/IISITv7p329-338Craig734.pdf
> which is about how the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery, an
> international academic computing membership organization) has a
> women's interest group -- ACM-W -- which is tasked with increasing
> women's participation in IT -- an equally daunting task. What's mostly
> interesting about this article is it describes how ACM-W has an
> ambassador program, with individuals tasked with increasing
> participation in various countries. In turn these ambassadors report
> that one size doesn't fit all -- increasing women's participation in
> IT depends on a variety of factors, including the general status of
> women's education in a country, and that the techniques one uses to
> encourage female participation might vary quite a bit depending on
> other cultural factors.
> Of course this is not an earth-shattering conclusion, but it's also
> clearly applicable to Wikimedia. I haven't seen many papers that take
> an explicitly international view to the issue of women in IT, so I
> thought it was interesting.
> -- phoebe

In my admittedly sociologically-slightly-impaired IT oriented mind, I
am not sure that the rationales for people to enter the IT field writ
large (information technology, computer science, computer engineering,
etc) match those for people to contribute to Wikipedia.

However, the generality of opportunity identified there seems useful.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

More information about the wikimedia-l mailing list