Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
91% Of Wikipedia Editors Are Men
The women who orchestrated the second wave of the Women’s Lib movement of the 60s would be none too happy with the way Wikipedia has turned back the clock. I am talking of course, about the distinct lack of women among the editor ranks on the world’s largest and most popular online encyclopaedia.
A study conducted by Knock Twice has revealed that only 9% of the editors on Wikipedia are women. That means that most of what we see on Wikipedia is distilled through “testosterone-tinted” glasses. What gives you might ask; especially when you consider that the usage of the site is more or less split 50/50.
The answer is not really clear and the study didn’t offer many clues that might help you and I figure things out. It did however show the level of participation of women in editing by interest. 10.7% of articles dealing with people were edited by women; 10.4% of articles dealing with the Arts were edited by women. These were followed by Philosophy, Religion, Health, History, Science and Geography with 8.3%; 7.1% (twice); 6.7%; 5.2% and 3.7% respectively.
Clearly the editing interests play a part in the level of female engagement on the site, but the real answer may not come until one delves into the inner workings of Wikipedia. Despite offering an abundance of free information, Wikipedia remains largely a closed shop. Few people know for instance that the editors (even the male ones) are paid little if any for their efforts.
Perhaps that’s the reason women don’t flock to editing. Males evidently have more time on their hands.