Wikipedia is overwhelmingly written by men. And Wikipedia knows this is a problem.
Sue Gardner, the executive director of the [Wikimedia] foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women.
Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be,” Ms. Gardner said in an interview on Thursday. “The difference between Wikipedia and other editorially created products is that Wikipedians are not professionals, they are only asked to bring what they know.”
“Everyone brings their crumb of information to the table,” she said. “If they are not at the table, we don’t benefit from their crumb.”
Wonderful to see the problem laid out so clearly. (Great example for teaching social epistemology as well!) And now, we should all go become part of the solution. (Yes, even if you’re not a woman, you’re the sort of person who reads this blog, so I’m betting your perspective is also under-represented.)
UPDATE: Here are instructions on contributing. It’s really very easy– go do it!