Representing Women in STEM

Representing Women in STEM

“Editing and improving current Wikipedia articles sets a better standard for what Wikipedia as a public encyclopedia should look like.”

Wiki Education’s courses engage subject matter experts in bringing their expertise to the world’s fifth most visited website. These scholars and professionals learn how to create, expand, and/or improve articles as part of a three-month, Wiki Education-facilitated virtual course. Get a sense for past participants here.

Not only does Wiki Education aim to increase Wikipedia’s coverage of science topics, but we are also committed to making that knowledge more representative of all people. These values come together in the improvement and creation of biography articles about women in STEM. Scholars in this professional development course take an active role in making the lives and accomplishments of women in STEM more visible by representing them on the world’s most popular online encyclopedia. And they network across institutions and fields in doing so.

Wikipedia matters for women in science for a number of reasons. The presence of a wider range of biographies on the site addresses Wikipedia’s gender-based systemic biases. The act of correcting this imbalance models career paths for young women looking into STEM. Reading about successful women can also help alleviate the threat of negative stereotypes in STEM fields and beyond. And seeing women and people of color in a young person’s chosen profession minimizes the sense of responsibility they may feel to confront stereotypes alone.

On English Wikipedia, only 17% of biographies are about women. Let’s change that.

Testimonials

Dr. Laura L. Hoopes, Professor, Biology and Molecular Biology

JoAnne Growney, Professor Emerita, Mathematics

Dr. Claire Jarvis, Postdoctoral Scientist, Chemistry

Samantha Kao, graduate student, Mathematics

Chelsea Sutcliffepost-doctoral research fellow, Earth sciences

Related articles

If scientists fail to engage in the construction of knowledge on Wikipedia, they outsource something more than public communication of science — they outsource the communication of science to their peers. Read more…

Wikipedia’s systemic gender gap problem isn’t simply a matter of missing biographies of women – it also shows up in the way that women are “contextualized” by presenting them in relation to the men in their lives. … But when you write for Wikipedia, you’re under no obligation to perpetuate these biases. Read more…

 

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