When you think of the gender gap, you probably think of fields like math and science or construction. But Wikipedia says it has its own gender gap in female entry writers, and it’s trying to fix the problem. The Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Fembot Project and the ASUO Women’s Center will host workshops to train women as Wikipedia editors March 8-9.
Sarah Stierch, who trained at the Wikimedia Foundation, says that subjects like women’s health need the input of female writers. “If women aren’t contributing to these subjects on Wikipedia, when the majority of contributors are male, we’re going to have a natural systematic bias that forms,” she says.
Stierch says she writes a lot of biographies of women, ranging from modern Asian businesswomen to feminist artists. One of her subjects is Louise Nevelson, who she says was the grandmother of feminist art. “She was an amazing woman. Really unique, really fashionable, really bold. She’s got a lot of attitude.”
University towns like Eugene are a great place to find new woman editors, Stierch says. “Women in the scholarly field are just prime real estate, I guess you could say, to contributing,” she says. “They have specialized fields and interests. They know where the best sources are at. They know how to write.”
International Women’s Day Writing Women into Wikipedia 2013 with Sarah Stierch runs 3 to 5 pm Friday, March 8, in UO’s Knight Library Browsing Room, and a workshop creating entries runs 1 to 4 pm Saturday, March 9, in 141 Allen Hall.