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March 2017


Photo by Davide Gorla (1 May 2012) via Flickr. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Like us here at Sydney University Press, you are probably frustrated by the underrepresentation of women on Wikipedia, both as subjects and as editors. Wikipedia itself accepts that this gender bias exists, stating that not only do men make up the majority of Wikipedia editors, but that those male editors are also individually responsible for editing more articles than their female counterparts. While there are many and varied factors contributing to this, Wikipedia’s own attempts to redress the imbalance have been largely unsuccessful.


A 1950s advertisement modified to promote a Wikipedia editing event. A drawing of a stylish woman has had her eyes, mouth and nose crossed out, with tongue-in-cheek caption indicating that her talents are wasted if she isn't on Wikipedia

It’s officially March, which means it’s officially Women’s History Month! At SUP, we’re very excited to be celebrating with a Wikipedia edit-a-thon. We’ll be getting together with students, staff and the wider community to improve the representation of Australian women in the world’s favourite reference work.

We all love Wikipedia. But did you know that it has a diversity problem? Multiple studies, by Wikipedia and by independent researchers, have found that women are badly underrepresented. Only between 9 and 12 percent of Wikipedia editors identify as women, and only about 16 percent of individual profiles on Wikipedia are about women.