Wikipedia's gender gap is a problem that has been fairly well-documented, not least by the online encyclopaedia community itself. But progress towards more gender equity in the site's editor pool remains sluggish, according to Knock Twice.
The tech marketing agency has aggregated some of the stunning realities about the gender breakdown among Wikipedians in the infographic below. The biggie: Despite an overall user base that's roughly 50-50 guys to gals, males make up a whopping 91 per cent of all editors on Wikipedia.
Granted, Knock Twice relies on a 2011 study for those numbers, so it's possible have evened up a bit since then. Since the results of a March 2010 survey [pdf] on Wikipedia's gender ratio by UNU-MERIT's Collaborative Creativity Group first drew attention to the gender gap on Wikipedia, evidence suggests women are slowly but steadily breaking into the site's virtual boy's club. Wikipedia itself maintains a page discussing and monitoring the gender gap in its Meta-Wiki portal.
Yet the gulf still remains and it dwarfs the gender gap on Google+ that made headlines last summer, just a few months into Google's launch of its social network. There are some common sense, if unscientific reasons for why this might be so—especially when you consider the nature of editing on Wikipedia. In general, men just seem to be more comfortable than women at being insufferable pedants on the Internet, for example.
That may just be the nature of the way things woiks between the sexes, to borrow from Charles Bukowski, but Knock Twice also highlights a more troubling trend—female Wikipedia editors are more likely than male editors to be blocked indefinitely—that suggests some gender-specific censoring might be going on as well.
And that's definitely not cool.