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Diversity: Sue Gardner Has Big Plans To Bring New Voices To Wikipedia
Diversity | March 06, 2013

Diversity: Sue Gardner Has Big Plans To Bring New Voices To Wikipedia

“The Wikimedia Foundation’s goal is to bring the sum total of all knowledge to the entire world in every person’s own language,” says internet speaker Sue Gardner in a recent discussion at the State Library of Queensland. As the Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Gardner plays a major role in the operation of the massive crowd-sourced site Wikipedia. As she explained in the talk, despite the site's success there have certainly been obstacles along the way. Many of which stem from the disproportionate ratio of male to female contributors and the skepticism over the accuracy of its user-generated content. However, Gardner says that the organization strives to include as many diverse viewpoints as possible—which is part of the reason why she says it is not in their mandate to censor user's contributions. She also says that they are taking steps to increase the number of female contributors, and are encouraging more people outside of North America to add content as well.

In a post about the event, Gardner attributes some of the issues with achieving a more diverse contributor base to a learning curve. Currently, the site requires contributors to know a minimal amount of programming to be able to edit content on the site. However, as Citizen J reports, Gardner announced that "Wikipedia is about to release a new visual type of editing to make the platform accessible and attractive to more contributors." Closing the gender and diversity gap is something that Gardner has taken on as one of Wikimedia's missions. That, and she hopes to drive the site to reach one billion users in the next 5 years. 

As one of Forbes' Most Powerful Women, Gardner has made a name for herself in the digital media world. She has been a part of the media for some time, as a former employee of the CBC, and as a member of The Society for News Design, The Online News Association, Women in Film and Television, and the Canadian Association of Journalists and Canadian Women In Communications. In her talks, she draws from her extensive experience in the field to share the current trends in online collaboration and citizen-driven media, as well as helping her audiences predict what to prepare for in the future.
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