The study was inspired by the work of Women in Red and the Australian Honour a Woman project, which was founded in 2017 to improve gender equity by supporting nominations of women for the Order of Australia awards, highlighting structural barriers to inclusion. The Order of Australia is notorious for not recognising women at the same rate as men, but the researchers discovered that on Wikipedia, awardees at the Companions or Officer level (the highest Order awards) are represented in slightly higher numbers than men.
Across all levels of the Honours, only 11% of recipients have a Wikipedia biography, but the Order announcement is an important signal for establishing notability on Wikipedia, and there is a discernible spike in page creation in the week the awards are announced.
However, keyword analysis showed that Wikipedia tends to notice women for contributions to sport and athletics, entertainment, media, and politics before they receive the Order but only after the award if their Honour is for work in nursing, community health, paediatrics, aged care and disability services. The researchers recommend that Wikipedia editors focus not only on *numbers* of women represented but the types of labour being recognised.
Wikimedia Australia contributors included Alex Lum, Toby Hudson, Pru Mitchell and Ann Reynolds.