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Lifting the profile of women in STEM

Franklin Women’s Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Last Month, Franklin Women held their inaugural Wikipedia Edit-a-thon with the aim of increasing the visibility of women scientists on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has approximately 1.6 billion biographies and, of these, only 18 per cent are women.

It was the first local Wikipedia Edit-a-thon and saw dozens of women, working in health and medical research, come together to build or update the profiles of accomplished Australian female scientists.

Organiser of the event and Founder of Franklin Women, Melina Georgousakis said, “We were surprised at how few Australian women scientists had pages on Wikipedia. Yet we know from the Franklin Women community alone how many have made scientific contributions and received accolades that would warrant them having one.”

In the course of just three hours, over 20,000 new words were written, 21 new articles were added as well as many edits made to existing pages.

“Making sure women and their contributions to society are captured on Wikipedia is so important not just from an equity point of view but also so there is a factual representation of history. Wikipedia is the fifth-most accessed website around the world, and people are currently not getting the full picture which skews their perception,” says Melina.

“One of the great outcomes from the Franklin Women Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was not just the new pages added, but how many women are now skilled in editing Wikipedia pages. This is so important as the majority of Wiki editors are men which means diversity of perspectives is lacking.”

If you want to see who got added go to Wikipedia as part of the edit-a-thon check out:


New online directory of women in STEM

Also helping to promote gender-equity is a recently launched database of Women working in STEM in Australia. Launched by The Australian Academy of Science in partnership with CSIRO, Science & Technology Australia and the Australian Science Media Centre, aims to showcase the breadth of STEM talent in Australia.

STEM Women links a diverse range of women with opportunities to progress their careers and personal capabilities such as speaking at conferences, being part of committees and boards, being nominated for awards and being interviewed in the media.

Users of the database can search for women in STEM based on their expertise, location and other search fields. They can then create their own shortlist and message experts directly.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews urged Australian women in STEM to take part.

“To all the talented Australian women in STEM out there, I say hop online and sign up to STEM Women,” Minister Andrews said.

To create your own profile, go to