Food News

How to Get More Women on Wikipedia (and Share Food Knowledge for All)

March 17, 2016

Wikipedia is one of the top search websites in the world where anyone can contribute, but a recent study revealed that 90% of the people who do so are white men. To address this imbalance, the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, together with the British Library, is heading up a project to encourage more women to contribute to the site, particularly in food. (This is where you come in!)

Photo by James Ransom

A satellite group at the NYU Food Studies program, led by Cathy Kaufman, is hosting a training and editing session on Friday, March 25th from 12 to 3 PM on NYU's campus. You'll leave the session with all the tools you need to contribute to any Wikipedia article. Lots of food experts will be attending (so you'll be in good company!), but because authors can't cite themselves, they're also calling for non-experts (from all backgrounds, regardless of gender!), with excellent food and research skills.

To RSVP and receive more information on where the event will be held, email Cathy Kaufman at [email protected]. Just keep in mind that space is limited! See you there!

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Have you ever contributed to Wikipedia? Are you a closeted expert on Indian spices? Knife skills? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Christina Ward
    Christina Ward
  • Brett Stevenson
    Brett Stevenson
  • Katy Keck
    Katy Keck
  • Nourishfoodie
  • Carolin
I eat everything.


Christina W. March 20, 2016
I would like to participate but cannot be in NYC on that date. I'm the Master Food Preserver for Milwaukee County and an expert in food preservation.
Carolin March 20, 2016
please email me at young.caroli[email protected] to be added to the list for future webinar sessions.
Brett S. March 20, 2016
It would be nice if the author could cite their source for the claim that 90 percent of Wikipedia contributors are white men. "A recent study" sounds a whole lot like "I made this up so I could write a catchy hook for my story."
Carolin March 20, 2016
The study referred to was conducted by Wikipedia itself - references to that and other studies can be found on the Schlesinger Library's event page in the section "WIkipedia and the Gender Gap":
Brett S. March 20, 2016
Why not cite that with a link in your story? Perhaps more relevant (and interesting) would be some demographic stats on Wikipedia food related article authorship.
Carolin March 20, 2016
I'm not the author of the story - I'm the director of the global Wiki-Food and (mostly) Women Project of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery/British Library - which I'm now extending into new branches with Harvard and NYU. (but, Cornell University, just fyi, has already been publishing some serious articles that address just the stats you mention). I remain, however, very grateful to Food52 for the shout-out that was intended to invite participation especially at the NYU branch of this event.
Katy K. March 18, 2016
Leslie and Carolin - I WAS kidding about the correlation (though am otherwise engaged on Good Fridays in general.) Have emailed Carolin to follow up. Thanks!
Nourishfoodie March 18, 2016
Thank you so much, Carolin! I have emailed you per your suggestion and look forward to webinar opportunities!
Carolin March 18, 2016
Apologies for the timing. No hidden meaning intended. Originally, all the groups were meant to be working at once, set vaguely around a date for a lecture that I will be giving at Harvard, now scheduled for the following week. (Please also note that I live in Paris and am on a book deadline, so scehduling the 3 events in one week has been challenging)...please note that this is really the FIRST iteration of a global intiative; If you'd liked to be on the mailing list for coming events, etc. please send me a message at: [email protected]
Katy K. March 18, 2016
So are the hours 12-3 on Good Friday coincidental to Christ's time on the cross or intentional? Just looking for the hidden meaning! :)
Katy K. March 18, 2016
Would be happy to help - just not then!
Leslie S. March 18, 2016
No connection whatsoever to any religion—just food people helping food people :)
Carolin March 18, 2016
Thanks to everyone interested in supporting this effort. I am, in fact, running the global project - and we, indeed, have plans to create some "webinar" training sessions with a list of contributors from around the world. If you'd like to be one of them, please email me at: [email protected]. There's also a training session being held for Boston area contributors from 3--6 pm on March 24th at the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute/Harvard University.
Nourishfoodie March 17, 2016
How about an online conference for those who live elsewhere or cannot attend?
Adrienne March 17, 2016
I wish there was a weekend event too for those of us with those pesky Monday to Friday jobs.
Chandrima S. March 17, 2016
This is a great Initiative I must say. I'm an Indian home cook with a good knowledge of Indian cooking and spices . How can I help you?
Leslie S. March 17, 2016
If you're interested in attending the event, you can email Cathy Kaufman at [email protected] to learn how to contribute to Wikipedia articles, if you don't already!