Purpose: Throughout the years, many scholarly answers were given to the question regarding the gender bias in Wikipedia. However, the research literature seldom explores how different barriers are interconnected and rarely focuses on what prevents women who initially declared their interest from eventually participating in the website. The purpose of this paper is to deal with this lacuna and explore the gender bias in Wikipedia through examining how the different barriers are interlinked in a manner that deters women and prevents them from editing in the website. Design/methodology/approach: Based on action research with a mixed evaluation method and two rounds of interviews, the research followed the steps of 27 Israeli women activists who participated in editing workshops. Findings: The findings show that having the will to edit and the knowledge of how to edit are necessary but insufficient conditions for women to participate in Wikipedia. The finding reveals two categories: pre-editing barriers of negative reputation, lack of recognition, anonymity and fear of being erased; and post-editing barriers of experiences of rejection, alienation, lack of time and profit and ownership of knowledge. The research suggests a “Vicious Circle” model, displaying how the five layers of negative reputation, anonymity, fear, alienation and rejection – enhance each other, in a manner that deters women from contributing to the website. Practical implications: In order for more women to join Wikipedia, the research offers the implantation of a “Virtuous Circle” that consists of nonymity, connection to social media, inclusionist policy, soft deletion and red-flagging harassments. Originality/value: Throughout the years, many answers were given to the question regarding the gender bias in Wikipedia. However, research literature seldom explores how different barriers are interconnected and rarely focuses on what prevents women who initially declared their interest and who attended editing workshops from eventually participating in the website.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Equality, Diversity and Inclusion|
|State||Published - 21 Oct 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author would like to thank Orly Benjamin, Hélène Lee-Gosselin, Josette Brun, Francine Descarries, Marilee Reimer and Peter Weeks for their reading of the text and their helpful remarks.
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.
- Gender bias
- Gender gap
- Organizational climate
- The digital sphere