This week Fortune hosted its Global Forum in Toronto. (Another event in Canada—Fortune’s MPW International Montreal—is slated for next month.) One of the big, on-stage interviews at the Forum was especially timely: Fortune editor-in-chief Clifton Leaf’s sit-down with Donna Strickland, a winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics.
Earlier this month, the Nobel committee honored Strickland, as well as American physicist Arthur Ashkin and France’s Gérard Mourou, for their work on high-intensity laser pulses that “smack the electrons right off the atoms.” The win made Strickland, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, only the third woman in 117 years to claim a Nobel Prize for physics and the first in more than a half century. (And yes, it did catch people’s attention that Strickland is an associate professor.)
Strickland’s win put a spotlight on the dearth of women among science’s most-lauded, to be sure. But her case also highlights how women’s professional achievements get overlooked in decidedly more mundane ways. Exhibit A: until she won the Nobel, Strickland didn’t have a Wikipedia page.
Dawn Bazely, a Wikipedia editor and biology professor at York University in Toronto, pointed out the oversight in a piece for The Washington Post.
“The long delay was not for lack of trying. Last May, an editor had rejected a submitted entry on Strickland, saying the subject did not meet Wikipedia’s notability requirement,” Bazely writes. The online encyclopedia’s internal politics and editing standards are an animal unto themselves—and Bazely digs into them, concluding that on Wikipedia “[w]hen a subject is not notable, notoriety can suffice—at least for men.”
Bazely argues that a Wikipedia page does more than stroke the ego of its subject; it is a hugely influential educational tool. The site’s recognition of more female scientists could help prove to younger women that this field is for them too.
That message needs relaying. Just look at Strickland’s own university, where there are seven female professors in a physics and astronomy department of 42. She was its first full-time female physics professor. Since joining, she’s made an effort to recruit more women. “It’s now almost every year, we’re bringing on another female [professor].” But that’s not enough, in her view: “We still only have less than 30% women, even as undergraduates.”
For Strickland, the issue goes beyond stats. Her daughter Hannah is a graduate student in astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and their dynamic recalls another mother-daughter duo: Marie and Irène Curie, who each won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Yes “People have said to Hannah, ‘Well now you have a role model,’” Strickland told the Forum audience, with a laugh. “And I’m like, ‘Well let’s put some pressure on the girl.’”
Correction, Oct. 17, 2018: An earlier version of this article misstated Strickland’s title. We regret the error.
A version of this article first appears in The Broadsheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on women in business. Subscribe here.