Group launches International Women’s Day drive to fight Wiki gender bias
An organization that supports women entrepreneurs across Canada will mark this year’s International Women’s Day with a collaborative effort to combat a major gender bias on the world’s most popular online encyclopedia.
The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub B.C. (WEKH), which is housed within SFU VentureLabs, is hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon this weekend to increase the presence of women on Wikipedia. Currently, less than 20 per cent of English biographies on the popular site are about women and less than 10 per cent of Wikipedia contributors identify as a woman.
“We want the next generation of young women and girls to see themselves reflected back in the images and stories of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and entrepreneurs so that they know that there is room in STEM and business for them too,” says WEKH B.C coordinator Kim Scott.
The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub is a part of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy which aims to increase women entrepreneurs’ access to financing, talent, networks and expertise. WEKH B.C. is the regional hub.
People can participate in the event in two ways. The first is to register as an editor to craft a Wikipedia article between Mar. 6th and Mar. 8th. People can also participate by nominating a woman who is doing exciting work and deserves a more prominent platform, even if they don’t have the time to take part in the edit-a-thon. Organizers are hoping to have at least 100 contributors and 100 new articles for Wikipedia by the end of the weekend.
In an effort to improve the representation of women on Wikipedia, the site launched its ‘Women in Red’ initiative to highlight (in red text) women who should be on their platform, but don’t yet have an article about them. Once an article is published the text link turns from red to blue.
Scott recently wrote a Wikipedia article about entrepreneur Teara Fraser and says the entire process took less than two hours from sign-up to submission.
“For me, this event will be successful if we get people thinking differently about what an entrepreneur or a STEM professional looks like. I’m really excited to see the names of a bunch of really cool women turn from red links into blue links on Wikipedia when they get the spotlight they deserve.”
To read more and to register the event, click here.