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


This initial examination of how women engineers appear on English language Wikipedia suggests that they are poorly represented, both in terms of the ratio of articles about women compared with men, and the poor quality of articles about women signalling their lower significance to the field.

Wikipedia receives a huge amount of internet traffic, and measures of traffic to the site itself do not include other ways that information and data are increasingly drawn from Wikipedia to support commercial information-providers’ services, such as YouTube, Siri or Alexa.[24] Wikipedia is an important source of online information, and has the potential to impact young people’s career choices, yet at present the information to be found there is likely to confirm young women’s perception that the field is not for them.

Authors underestimate their power to affect change online (Bear and Collier, 2012). But with the ‘History of women in engineering’ page currently still showing failings first noticed in 2011, there is a great deal of scope to follow the Wikipedia slogan and ‘be bold’, joining other Wiki-editors and historians beyond Wikipedia in writing women back into engineering history.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/181008/006