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Submissions/Wither the Gender Gap

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Wither the Gender Gap
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Rich Farmbrough
E-mail address
Rich Farmbrough
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Community
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Gender Gap is one of the most talked about and least understood facets of the Wikimedia experience. After some basic definitions and numerical measurements of the gap from various sources and times, several different perspectives of the Gender gap are compared.

Refinements to the measurements are suggested, including a new measure that focuses specifically on content contribution.

Previously researched effects of the Gender Gap on content (both quality (comparative coverage of films of interest to mainly male for female audiences) and coverage (example of male and female biographies from ADNB)) are briefly discussed to motivate the following discussion, again with focus on research based results, together with limitations on these results, and how they can be interpreted. Also I mention some stereotypical comparisons, and why they should be avoided.

The presentation continues with some of the common beliefs for the cause of the Gender Gap, notably "locker room" culture, technical requirements to edit, time available, fear of conflict, lack of confidence and lack of interest

It presents an overview of the research (both academic, and otherwise) and identifies where this corresponds and conflicts with the naive views of the Gender Gap. Also looks at the risks of extrapolating from general research to Wikimedia projects, with a couple of examples.

A quick summary of the current state of knowledge, the strengths and the weaknesses of what we know compared with what we would like to know. Suggested methods to gather the missing knowledge by survey, data gathering and analysis of existing data.

It goes on to propose a simple model of the gender gap, and discusses ways to identify the parameters that define the model, and suggests a number of measures which can be taken to decrease the effect of the gender gap as well as to "wither" the gender gap itself.

Questions and discussion. Notably inviting other proposals for closing the gap and for researching the obstacles.

Note 1: Since research on this topic is ongoing (I hope to have a couple of new results myself by the time of Wikimania) the detail of this presentation is likely to change, but I believe the main thrust will remain a valid and interesting topic.

Note 2: The spelling in the title is deliberate.

Note 3: If there is a dearth of questions (unlikely!) I will have some topics for discussion up my sleeve.

WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes if I can
Slides or further information (optional)
Slides and transcript will be provided in advance, transcript will include full references to all research cited.
Special requests

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  2. Margott (talk) 13:53, 24 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. mako 00:01, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 18:50, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. KrystleChung (talk) 20:49, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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  9. --Atropine (talk) 23:23, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  10. CT Cooper · talk 00:03, 11 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]