Ahead of the Women’s Six Nations Finals weekend on Saturday April 24th, Guinness has partnered with Wikimedia UK to ensure that every member of the competing home nations hits the site 18 billion times worldwide every month over 135,000 words are recorded for their profiles.
With only 6% of the sports media reporting on athletes and teams in the UK, the lack of data and information on women players needs to be addressed in order to address the inequality in media coverage of the sporting community.
Currently, only 18% of biographies on Wikipedia are from women, but that gap continues to widen in sport, where only 3% of 14,916 rugby biographies are from women and current Guinness Six Nations men’s teams have 392% more words devoted to them than their women Colleagues.
Additionally, only 30% of the current women players on the Women’s Six Nation team are featured on Wikipedia, and 86% of those who have had no picture or more than a very basic bio. In addition, the international team pages show major differences: the current male rugby teams get more than 9,000 words on their page, while the women’s teams have an average of just 900 words.
To eradicate inequality, Guinness has invited Wikipedia editors, women’s rugby fans, writers and journalists to join the campaign and fill in the stories of past and present personalities.
Guinness is also working with players on a global scale to update their Twitter profiles and ensure they are compliant with the new verification standards. Not only does this provide female players the same platform to build connections with their fans, the media and the sports community that their male counterparts have, but it will also help improve and enhance the conversation about the players and the sport around the world. In the past 12 months, of the 307,541 tweets mentioning rugby or the six nations around the world, only 10% related to women’s sports.
Lucy Crompton-Reid, CEO of Wikimedia UK, said: “We are very excited to be working with Guinness on this project to shed light on women rugby players and their achievements. As a UK charity for the global Wikimedia movement, we are aware of the internet gender divide that reflects systemic prejudice and historical inequalities, and we work with a variety of partners to increase the representation of women on Wikipedia. “
Neil Shah, Head of Guinness GB, said: “We know it is difficult to be what you can’t see. We believe that the first step in improving visibility for rugby players is in tune with the game Men is finding out who they are. This step will make it easier than ever to get to know them by posting their stories on Wikipedia. “
As a partner of the Women’s Six Nations, Guinness will continue to support the championship player in 2021.