Wikipedia is the site anyone can edit but too few do and only 19.16% of biographies are about women.
matters. Learning about these stories matters. Gaps in our shared
knowledge excludes the vitally important contributions of many within
our community. Universities can help remove barriers and kick open more
doors. They have access to knowledge and information and, with that, an
ethical responsibility to share that knowledge for the greater good.
Wikipedia edit-a-thons, or ‘diversithons’, are one way to start nudging the
matters because gender inequality in science and technology is all too
real (Women in STEM | Percentages of Women in STEM Statistics, 2021).
Increasing the visibility and diversity of topics and inspirational role
models online can not only encourage more into STEM careers but also
help inform and shape our physical environments to be more inclusive
The lives and
contributions of extraordinary women are recorded in various sources.
It’s about choosing to write their stories on Wikipedia. There is a
labor to this work, undoubtedly. But it’s worthwhile work. And while the
size of the challenge is massive, we have the numbers to rise to
it—Wikipedia is a website that anyone can edit after all—but only if we
choose to undertake and value
this work. And only if we acknowledge that committing to equality and
diversity is a collective responsibility we all should shoulder. It
isn’t only for women to write about the women who came before them. And
we shouldn’t have to wait 150 years to remember extraordinary women, like the Edinburgh Seven,
either. There are brilliant women doing brilliant work today.
Extraordinary stories to be told and learn from today.
So many are
entirely absent from our search results and we could do more to
challenge and combat this. Women are not a minority and we can’t accept
the paucity of stories and role models currently available online that
try to tell us that message. We can change the way stories are told and
make different, better choices. We can empower new content creators,
create new heroes, and inspire readers all around the world.