Go back to article: The history of women in engineering on Wikipedia

Abstract

This paper explores the representation of the history of women in engineering as it appears on the online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. Using biography pages on women engineers for a high-level quantitative overview, and the ‘History of women in engineering’ page as a specific example for qualitative examination, this research highlights inequalities in how women engineers are represented compared with men engineers.

There are significantly fewer Wikipedia biography articles on women engineers compared with men engineers, and those articles are far less central and findable, with fewer incoming links. The article page on the ‘History of women in engineering’ is of poor quality and is flagged as such to readers.

Here, the under-representation of women engineers on Wikipedia is set in the specific context of Wikipedia. The context of societal differences beyond the internet is also explored. The paper concludes by discussing practical attempts to redress the imbalance, and challenges to consider in planning future efforts.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/181008/001