Submissions/On a disparity in FOSS and wiki communities - the inherent sexism in both ignoring or addressing the gender gap

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

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 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
On a disparity in FOSS and wiki communities - the inherent sexism in both ignoring or addressing the gender gap
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Kim Schoonover
Country of origin
English Wikipedia
E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog
This presentation will discuss the impact of addressing the gender gap in Wikimedia communities, and how programs such as GSoC and OPW affect both the efforts and the results.
Detailed proposal

As a Wikimedian and a FOSS developer and designer, I am a woman surrounded by men. There are other women, of course, but we are by far the minority - and there are many reasons for this, some which we should care about and indeed seek to address... and many which just are.

Through my experiences editing Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia, and other projects, I have run into what some would call the 'gender gap' often without realising it. On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog, and most folks don't pay a whole lot of attention to whether or not you have boobs, so it's not something that necessarily seems an issue.

But whether the number of women online in certain areas is an issue or not, it is at least a symptom of a wider cultural bias. This bias shows itself in our media, our education, and especially in programs based around this - for instance Google Summer of Code and the GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for Women.

In this talk, I will discuss the general disparities affected by and manifesting in GSoC and OPW, why I view the former problematic, and the latter outright sexist, and also the wider impacts on the MediaWiki and Wikipedia communities where I am active.

I cannot propose solutions, but I can try to make you think.

WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I will attend Wikimania if I can.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. MarkTraceur (talk) 19:02, 2 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
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