Geek Feminism Wiki

Women attendees at Wikimania 2013

Wikimania 2013, the annual conference of the Wikimedia movement, had the participation of more than 60 women. There was a separate track for women in Wikimedia on Day 2 of the conference. Around 40 women participated in WikiWomen's Luncheon which happened on the same day. As of July 30, women accounted 20 percent of online registrations for Wikimania 2013.

Organizing team

The program committee  of 11 contained two women, Katie Filbert and Sarah Stierch. Ellie Young facilitated and supported the organizing team in her capacity as the conference co-ordinator of Wikimedia Foundation. Katie Chan was a member and Jessie Wild was the Wikimedia Foundation liaision of the scholarship committee of Wikimania 2013.

Keynote by Sue Gardner

Sue keynoting at Wikimania 2013

The keynote on the final day of the conference was delivered by Sue Gardner, the Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation. In response to a question from the press, she replied : "I wish we had solved the (gender gap) problem (in Wikimedia), but didn't."

Wikiwomen's Luncheon

Wikiwomen's luncheon at Wikimania 2013

Wikiwomen's Luncheon , the luncheon for women attendees of Wikimania 2013, was held on the second day of the conference. Around 40 women participated in the luncheon. Conversation was facilitated by Sue Gardner. Sue told that the participation in the Wikiwomen's Lunch has rose from 11 in Taipei, 2011 to more than 100 in Washington D.C, 2012.  Gardner observed that when Wikimedia's editor community is dominated by educated males, and expansion is by word-of-mouth, it will not "naturally grow to be as diverse as it otherwise could have been." Sarah Stierch, the Program Evaluation Community Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation, shared her experiences about volunteering with the Wikimedia Foundation. Staff members of Wikimedia Deutschland passed information and distributed flyers of their upcoming Diversity Conference , which is scheduled to take place in Berlin in November.

Women speakers

A woman presenter at Wikimania 2013

The pre-conference events facilitated by women were: 

  1. Idea Lab Brainstorm (Siko Bouterse & Heather Walls)
  2. Presentation Clinic (Phoebe Ayers)
  3. Dev Camp (Sumana Harihareswara and others)
  4. Chapters Dialogue session (Nicole Ebber & Kira Kraemer)

The community track for women in Wikimedia featured three talks:

  1. Promoting diversity in the German Wikipedia (Ilona Buchem)
  2. Towards bridging the gender gap in Indian Wikimedia Community (Jadine Lannon & Netha Hussain)
  3. Bridging the gender gap with women scientists (Emily Temple-Wood)

Other talks, panels and workshops by women speakers were:

  1. Open Street Map Workshop (Katie Filbert)
  2. Women and non-conventional education - a study from Indian cultural context  (Kavya Manohar)
  3. Growing the Arabic Wikipedia through the Wikipedia Education Program  (LiAnna Davis)
  4. Encouraging the creation and development of articles about women in Ibero-America (Ivana Lysholm)
  5. The coolest projects of Wikimedia Chapters - be inspired (Nicole Ebber; together with Lodewijk Gelauff) 
  6. Fun user experience is sers bznss, so can you (Siko Boutrese and Heather Walls with Jake Orlowitz)
  7. The other side of the ballot box: Movement-wide elections and refereanda (Risker)
  8. Wikimania Scholarships (Jessie Wild with Martin Rulsch)
  9. Beyond Afripedia : Mali experience (Adrienne Alix with Renaud Gaudin)
  10. Wikipedia and Primary school (Iolenda Pensa, Isla Haddow-Flood with Luca Martinelli)

Women participants in panel discussions were :

  1. Carmen Alcázar and Monica Mora in Wiki Loves Monuments
  2. Sumana Harihareswara in Transparency and Collaboration in Wikimedia Engineering
  3. Sue Gardner in The Growth and Future of Wikimania
  4. Iolenda Pensa, Isla Haddow-Flood, Sandister Tei, Adrienne Alix in Activating Africa


1. "Wikipedia fails to bridge gender gap" (South China Morning Post, 11 August 2013) by Keira Huang

2. "Women contributors still face hurdles at Wikipedia" (The Wall Street Journal, 19 August 2013) by Riva Gold