Lots of debate arose around the fact almost 87% of Wikipedia editors are male. This is not necessarily true since the survey on which this “fact” is based has some biases (for example, people self-elected to answer).
However, a query run on the Wikipedia database showed that more than 83% self-identified as male.
While these numbers are not 100% representative of reality, it is probably true that most of editors are male. This is acknowledged also on a Wikipedia page about the systemic bias of Wikipedia (yes, I know this very page has been written by people whose bias we are trying to interpret but, going to the extremes, it’s turtles all the way down ;)
So the question could be: what is the ratio male/female on other social networking sites?
Just, for comparative reasons (and a bit for fun too), I compiled the following table based on the Social Network Analysis Report by Ignite Social Media. The table is sorted so that first lines are sites in which there are relatively more females than males. I’m not familiar with all the sites but it seems that sites more populated by women are the very social and playful (such as Haboo, Bebo, Myspace, Xanga, Facebook). On the other side of the spectrum there are sites populated most by males: sites showing what’s interesting right now thanks to social bookmarking such as Reddit, Digg, Identi.ca, and “professional” network sites such as Linkedin and Plaxo.
This table is not “scientific” in any way as well (for instance, percentages in the report are gathered from Google Ad Planner and Google Insights for Search).
Consider the following table just as more food for thought. Does it confirm your intuitions? Or should I say prejudices? ;)
| ||Social network site ||Percentage of females |
| ||Habbo ||66% |
| ||Bebo ||62% |
| ||Myspace ||62% |
| ||Xanga ||62% |
| ||Facebook ||55% |
| ||Ning ||55% |
| ||Hi5 ||52% |
| ||Meetup ||52% |
| ||Tribe ||52% |
| ||Twitter ||52% |
| ||Yelp ||52% |
| ||Flixster ||50% |
| ||Foursquare ||50% |
| ||Friendster ||50% |
| ||Flickr ||48% |
| ||Last.fm ||48% |
| ||Livejournal ||48% |
| ||Metafilter ||48% |
| ||Multiply ||48% |
| ||Plaxo ||45% |
| ||Stumbleupon ||45% |
| ||Badoo ||43% |
| ||Mixx ||43% |
| ||Linkedin ||40% |
| ||Netlog ||40% |
| ||Newsvine ||40% |
| ||Plurk ||40% |
| ||Identi.ca ||34% |
| ||Digg ||32% |
| ||Indianpad ||24% |
| ||Reddit ||24% |
Credits: Icons by socialshift, elegantthemes and WpZoom.
Few days ago there was an interesting article on NYTimes about the small percentage of women on Wikipedia.
Today on the gendergap mailing list at wikipedia there is a very interesting ongoing discussion. Some preliminary statistics from the discussion are:
Interesting to note how on Russian Wikipedia, users tend to express their gender much more (16.80%!). Do you have ideas if (1) this is a cultural issue specific of Russians, (2) it depends on the practices of the specific Wikipedia in Russian or (3) it depends on the user interface, for example it might be that when you register you are redirect to an HTML page in which you can specify also your gender?
Also interesting is the fact that in this Wikipedia the percentage of women is the highest (22.78%). Probably the reason is that in a place in which gender is more represented, it is more normal for women to represent it as well. While where gender it is not represent, it is in general foolish for women to explicitly say “Hey, I’m female!” in order not to attract (additional) unwanted messages. Or put in other terms, OMG Girlz Don’t Exist on teh Intarweb!!!!1.
Img by nojhan, under Creative Commons
From the Office for diversity initiative at Columbia University:
Social psychology research has found that both men and women are more likely to hire a male applicant than a female applicant with an identical record (Steinpres et al., 1999).
Deaux & Emswiller (1974) found that success is more frequently attributed to “skill” for males and “luck” for females, even when the evaluators are presented with evidence of equal success for both genders.
Beginning in the 1970s symphony orchestras started requiring musicians to audition behind screens; since that time, the number of women hired has increased fivefold and the probability that a woman will advance from preliminary rounds has increased by 50% (Goldin and Rouse, 2000).
I first read about the fivefold increase in hired female musicians after the introduction of blind auditions in the insightful book by Malcolm Gladwell “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” and reminded about it by a recent study on 300.000 twitter users by Bill Heil (billheil @ twitter) and Mikolaj Piskorski (mpiskorski @ twitter).
Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other. This “follower split” suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships.
This is intriguing, especially given that females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%. To get this figure, we cross-referenced users’ “real names” against a database of 40,000 strongly gendered names.
Even more interesting is who follows whom. We found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman.
Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman. These results cannot be explained by different tweeting activity – both men and women tweet at the same rate.
These results are stunning given what previous research has found in the context of online social networks. On a typical online social network, most of the activity is focused around women – men follow content produced by women they do and do not know, and women follow content produced by women they know.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2007 is out.
Sweden (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Iceland (4) once again top the rankings in the latest Global Gender Gap Report. The Report covers a total of 128 countries.
Ah yes, you are wondering about Italy? Why really wondering? Anything else to do? Uhm, ok here is the raw reality: Italy is 84th out of 128.
Our cousins of Spain are 10th (!), Latvia is in position 13 and Lithuania 14. Moldova is 21, Cuba is 22, Colombia is 24, Bulgaria is 25, Lesotho is 26, Namibia is 29, Tanzania is 34, Vietnam is 42, Romania is 47, Uganda is 50, Botswana is 53, Albania is 66, China is 73
Did I say that if you scroll down down in the list you find Italy in position 84?
So why cannot an NGO of Lesotho comes in Italy to help us with an international cooperation project about gender issues?