A number of women working in the health, medical and life sciences sectors are spending a little more time on the internet than usual today, editing a tonne of Wikipedia articles for a cause we can get behind.
The idea behind the Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon is to increase the visibility of women in science on Wikipedia. It’s about combatting gender bias on the online encyclopaedia – important, given only around 19 per cent of all profiles on Wikipedia are about women.
Participants will add and update pages to include the achievements of health and medical researchers who are women. It’s the second year Franklin Women (a social enterprise that empowers women pursuing careers across the health and medical research sector) and partner AbbVie Australia (biopharmaceutical company) are hosting the event.
Ideally, more than one day would be dedicated to such a venture, but the Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon is part of an ongoing global movement that aims to ensure Wikipedia is more representative of diverse talent in STEMM and their contributions to society.
Recently, STEMM has been expanded to the second ‘M’ to encapsulate those working in the medical field. It now covers those working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
“Two and a half years have passed since our first Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon and while more than 70,000 new Wikipedia profiles have been added for women over this time, women still only account for around 19 per cent of profiles on the global encyclopaedia,” said Dr Melina Georgousakis, founder of Franklin Women.
“Addressing gender bias on Wikipedia is not just about equity, it is also about ensuring that scientific discoveries and their impact on society are accurately captured. When people search for information online, Wikipedia is usually among the first results that appear and as such it plays a big role in informing people on the history of science and the role of women and other under-represented groups in the field.”