Women in Localization 10th Anniversary Gala an Opportunity to Give Back

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SUNNYVALE, California, USA, November 13, 2018. Women in Localization (W.L.), the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry, is thrilled to announce their 10th Anniversary as an organization dedicated to supporting Women in Localization. They celebrated their anniversary by giving back to Translators Without Borders and inspirational wisdom from Silicon Valley leaders, Anna Yen and Lisa Stone.

Members and supporters of Women in Localization gathered the evening of Friday, October 5, 2018 to celebrate the organization’s 10th Anniversary at Fairview Crystal Springs in Burlingame, CA. The gala event marked a decade since Women in Localization was founded to provide women and their allies in the localization industry with opportunities for networking, education, career advancement, mentoring and recognition.

In addition to marking the milestone anniversary, the event was an opportunity for Women in Localization to give back through a fundraiser for Translators Without Borders.  Thanks to generous support from members and generous corporate sponsors, including Gold Sponsor Moravia, Women in Localization surpassed their target donation goal of $4,000 by 25%, presenting a check for $5,025 to Translators Without Borders Board Member Iris Orriss during the event.

The fundraising check is presented to Iris Orriss (R) by Silvia Avary-Silveira (L) and Fadwa Asaad (center).

“A phenomenal amount was raised, and unrestricted donations like these are the lifeblood of what we do,” said Rosie Marteau, Development Senior Officer at Translators Without Borders. “The generous support from Women in Localization provides us with vital core funding that supports many of our ongoing initiatives around the world. Furthermore, this unrestricted funding helps us develop innovative language solutions for humanitarian response and development.”

Through their shared bond with translators and linguists, the collaboration between Women in Localization and Translators Without Borders is a perfect match. In June Silvia Avary-Silveira, CFO and Co-Founder of Women in Localization, contacted Translators Without Borders to suggest working together on a fundraiser. “Many of the members of Women in Localization are friends, donors, and allies of our work at Translators Without Borders,” said Marteau. “Of course, we naturally jumped at the chance to support Women in Localization’s fundraising efforts. We felt touched by the initiative and Silvia’s kind words about her belief in our work.”

“When we were planning our event, we decided early on to do a fundraising campaign to benefit a non-profit organization of our liking,” said Avary-Silveira. “So, when Fadwa Assad, our Executive Director of Sponsorships, suggested Translators Without Borders as our beneficiary, our board voted yes unanimously. It just made so much sense.”

While the funds will support many activities, portions are earmarked for Translators Without Borders’ Language Equality Initiative called Gamayun. This cross-industry project aims to improve fairer access to language technology and ensure the progress of machine translation benefits all people, not just those who speak and use the Internet in “commercially viable” languages.

“We are developing voice and text machine translation for marginalized languages, and making these available for use in humanitarian contexts, such as apps to help refugees access local information as they move,” said Marteau. “Ultimately the goal is for people in need to be able to communicate their own needs proactively, which will dramatically shift humanitarian communications.”

The evening’s festivities kicked off with a cocktail reception, followed by a formal sit-down dinner and discussion between distinguished entrepreneurs and longtime friends Anna Yen and Lisa Stone.

Loy Searle (far R), Women in Localization Vice President, hosted a panel with keynote speakers Lisa Stone (L) and Anna Yen (center) where they shared their wisdom and experience.

While Yen’s diminutive stature gives her male co-workers an initial impression of vulnerability, they soon discover that she is a force of nature not to be underestimated. Thanks to her strong character and no-nonsense communication style, Yen quickly earns their respect. “I work best with powerful men and it’s because I treat them like my brother,” Yen said. “I’m honest and always share my opinions, and it’s helped me to get what I want.”

Reflecting on their long careers in tech, Yen and Stone provided insight on how they achieved success in Silicon Valley. Both agreed that networking and mentorship are critical factors to success, and women should strive to always be learning and reach outside their comfort zones to embrace new challenges.

As a global organization, the celebration extended around the world to Women in Localization’s many international Chapters. Chapters in Argentina, the Netherlands, Barcelona, Singapore, Japan and the Pacific Northwest discovered a perfect mix of local speakers and delicious food worked well to mark the occasion. The Beijing Chapter had double the reason to celebrate, marking both the 10th Anniversary and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival at the same event. The Polish Chapter live streamed the gala event, watching the revelry unfold in real time. And, finally, to continue the festivities as long as possible, the Pacific Northwest Chapter extended the celebrations two more weeks by inviting LocWorld38 attendees to a networking get-together in Seattle.

The Women in Localization Board of Directors extends their many thanks to the committee members who worked hard on the festive event, including Silvia Avary-Silveira, Fadwa Assad, Erica Haims, Fabiano Cid, Sabine Rioufol, Magdalena Enea, Sheena Makhecha and Tanya Badeka.

“Our 10th anniversary, our new status as a non-profit organization, further global expansion, we are not only leaders in our industry, but we are leading the equality game in our profession,” said Schlegel as she welcomed the gala attendees. “Here’s to the next 10 years!”

Women in Localization Argentina Chapter celebrating the organization’s 10th Anniversary.

W.L. President Anna Schlegel Reflects on 2018 and the Secret Sauce for 2019

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As the year is quickly moving toward its end, I wanted to give insight on how Women in Localization rolled this year. As President of the 2018 Board, I observe and pay a lot of attention as our Members, Board, Committees, Partners, Sponsors and Advisors drive leadership in our globalization profession. I try to read the tea leaves while also keeping quiet and listening.

I recently sat down all alone – a rare occurrence! – with a cup of coffee, no kids, no noise, to make a list and reflect on what we accomplished this year. The list grew kilometric in just a few minutes. Once you pull it all together, it is to be celebrated and bow – I bow to the list! How did we get this focused, this purposeful and show so many results? Why do we want to belong and lead our industry so much?

In our list of accomplishments, I had an “aha!” moment. Holy smokes, this year alone we drove 64 innovation sessions. 64. Sis quatre. Six-four localization innovation sessions. The carefully planned events, led by local Chapters, discuss all aspects of globalization: technology, platforms, quality, vendor management, mentoring, innovation, and engineering, but they were also celebrating our women, with discussions on how to manage it all. We all know the answer to that one…run for the hills!

We continue our strategy to let more and new faces try leadership through our organization. Our Board sponsored 15 Committees this year. That translates into 15 new leaders who formed Committees to lead our business, to drive our goals, to cross collaborate and to take care of our ever-evolving organization. Dynamic as a noun explodes here.  Some of those Committees have nearly a dozen people on them. The Committees are led by Executive Directors who are charged with leading their area and developing solutions for the organization. Some of these Committees have been around longer than others. For example, Marketing and Chapters are more established and help guide new Committees as they ramp up. We are also kicking off two new Committees, one for Mentorship and another for Global Growth. We are also thinking of starting a Committee for metrics… You see? We don’t rest. There are too many dots to connect and a plethora of incredibly capable women to lead. The Board connects all those dots to empower and train in leadership. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong. But it is our values and ability to collaborate that gives us the framework to lead and steer our organization.

With 2019 right around the corner, we are now in succession planning mode. Who are the next leaders, do we move some chairs around?

We just celebrated our 10th year anniversary and became a non-profit. We launched Chapters in Singapore, Poland, Utah and Beijing. We opened an Office of the Chair that mimics all supporting key roles of a large organization. We participated in every single industry event with our awesome partners GALA, and Slator, and LocWorld.

Our focus for 2019 will be all about our Members. Get ready for that, as well as much more training for Members, and more opportunity to participate in our leadership fabric. And of course, as good globalizers…more Chapters!

I will announce a new President come January 1st and I am so excited to see new leaders shine through. If you are interested in an open position let us know. We are here to mentor, sponsor and help you with your localization dreams!


Anna N Schlegel

President, Women in Localization



Women in Localization Announces Improved Website

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Co-authors: Leah MacDonald, Mimi Moore, Erica Haims

In conjunction with its 10-year anniversary and announcement of non-profit status, Women in Localization (W.L.) is proud and excited to announce its new and improved website. Featuring new branding and a refreshed “dashboard” feel, the landing page is now a centralized location for Events, News, Volunteer Opportunities and Tweets.

W.L. intends for the website to be a valuable resource for knowledge and opportunities for members and localization industry professionals. The updated Events page features a global events calendar to raise awareness about W.L. chapter and industry events. For example, October 2018 has been a busy month, featuring a W.L. UK event on the 4th called “Everything You Need to Know about Global E-Commerce”, the W.L. 10th Anniversary Special Event on the 5th, a W.L. Singapore event on the 8th called “Expanding Localization Footprint in South East Asia Market”, the TAUS Conference on the 10-11th, and a networking event held by the W.L. Pacific Northwest chapter on the 17th to kick off LocWorld Seattle on the 17-19th.

The News page has become critical to the W.L. organization, featuring timely and important bulletins, such as announcements about W.L.’s non-profit status and addition of new global chapters. In 2018 alone, W.L. added new chapters in Singapore, Beijing, Utah, and Poland, bringing the total number of global chapters to sixteen with 4,500 current worldwide members.

A dynamic and growing organization like W.L. is always on the lookout for new volunteer talent to join its ranks. W.L. volunteers not only get to try their hand at new tasks and gain new skills, but they also have the opportunity to meet new people and network with their peers. “We call this Finding your Tribe,” said Anna Schlegel, W.L. President and Co-Founder. Current openings and application details are listed on the Volunteer Page and vary across W.L.’s multiple and varied committees: Marketing, Technology, Education/Membership, Global Expansion and Chapters, Events, Sponsorship and Strategic Partnerships.

A primary focus for the Education and Mentorship committee this year has been to increase the amount of useful content available on the website. The new Resources page features valuable sites to review when conducting industry research. Curated by W.L.’s Education and Mentoring committee, details on conferences, podcasts, and educational possibilities are available at a click of a button.

Under Martyna Pakula’s guidance, the Education team has established a solid foundation that will be expanded in coming months. Coming soon in the website’s next phase is W.L.’s new Mentoring program and a job listing page. Key players in this effort are Carolyn Whittingham, who established W.L.’s mentor/mentee matchmaking program and CatherineRose Mountain, who performed double duty by assisting with the website and compiling useful content for newbies in our industry. Recognition is also due to the efforts of Marian Valia, who created training and coaching content for the chapters and individual members.

“We didn’t just create a logo and choose a bunch of colors for the new website. Our brand was built on our friendship, our history and memories, and our expectations for what we thought Women in Localization could become and our website reflected that process on an even greater scale,” said Liesl Leary, W.L. Board member and CMO.

Reinventing the new website was no small undertaking and many committed volunteers devoted their time and skills to accomplish the task. “We couldn’t have done it without the dedication of so many great contributors like Chantal Graham and Naomi Senior (Brand Design), Alison (Ali) McCabe (Graphic Design/Web Producer), and Wei Wu (Web Development) who were tireless in bringing those values to life,” said Leary.

Other notable contributions were received from Vilma Campos (W.L. CTO), Silvia Avary-Silveira, W.L. Board Member Sponsorship and Vicente Avary-Silveira, who all contributed their time and expertise.

While there is always more to do, great gains have been made in 2018 and we expect to achieve even more in the months and year ahead. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the new website for their hard work and commitment. They truly represent the best of Women in Localization!


WLChina – Beijing Chapter – September Salon Event

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On September 14th, 2018, Women in Localization Beijing Chapter hosted a salon to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Women in Localization (W.L.).

Many enterprises like Pactera, Beyondsoft, RWS, VMware, Canon, Didi, Glodom were invited to attend this event. Also professors and students from Peking University, University of International Business and Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing Language and Culture University showed their presence as well.

At 2:40pm, Ellen Ma, leader of the Women in Localization Beijing Chapter, kicked off this event. Ellen first warmly welcomed the guests from both businesses and universities. Then she gave a brief introduction to the W.L. and shared the good news that W.L. has now been officially listed as a non-profit organization. Also, Ellen emphasized the spirit of W.L. and hope everyone in Localization industry can have more interaction and communication through this platform.

Later, Professor Cui Qiliang from UIBE were invited to the stage and shared his perspective about this kind of event. He believes that salons like this are helpful to the students who are now learning localization and conducive to those who are now engaging in the localization industry. And more cooperation between companies and universities are expected in the future which will promote the industry development.

Then a warm-up game was hosted by Sarah Qiao, who is in charge of the social media of W.L. Beijing Chapter. Every participant enjoyed the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere as if we were back to the childhood.

The next session is discussion. We have prepared some questions regarding work and life. The participants were divided into groups and then they selected two questions and began heated discussion.

Then every group had one member shared the discussion results about the questions. Some shared their career development and lessons they’ve learned. Some shared the secrets of work-life balance. And suggestions were given for students present about how to equip themselves with necessary skills.

The last session is mooncake making. As Chinese Mid-Autumn festival was just around the corner, we have prepared the special session of making snow skin mooncakes. Under the guidance of the baker, everybody was absorbed in rolling the dough, wrapping the doll with various of filling and shaping the mooncake with the mould. Everyone was having a great time making mooncakes and talking to others. Some say under the cozy atmosphere in-depth communication were easily made.

The salon concluded successfully at 5:30 pm. Participants were satisfied with this event and hope there will be more events coming.

Women that Rock

Celebrating International Translation Day 2018

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Author: Myra Goldie

Correction notice: This article was originally published with an error, referring to Blessing Uzuegbu as a single mother.

This Sunday, September 30th marked International Translation Day, an annual celebration that acts as an opportunity to pay tribute to the life and work of translators and interpreters who aspire to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers. The day is celebrated with a series of dedicated events, seminars, and symposiums across the world.

Four women shared their experiences building careers in the translation industry, and while their job titles, experience, stories, and backgrounds differ wildly, their sentiment was the same.

“As a translator, you are bridging the gap for humans. You are helping people’s businesses, education, careers.”

It’s impossible to ignore the passion and gratitude behind Blessing Uzuegbu’s voice as she speaks about her career as a freelance linguist for the Igbo language. Her words come across clear and proud, despite the slight fuzziness of a Skype call coming into Prague from Nigeria.

As a mother in a country of increasing unemployment rates, Uzuegbu did what any of us would do in uncertain times; she turned to the internet. She wasn’t looking for anything in particular, any job would do. But when she came across the concept of working as a translator, she knew she had struck gold.

“I never thought about translation as a career, but as I was researching it on and, I thought, I’ve always loved writing and learning, and am very good in English. I can do this.”

9,000 km away, Svetlana Uleva had the same thought.

“I can do that,” Uleva said when her father introduced her to a professional translator. Despite considering a career path in engineering roads, her love of literature was enough to convince her otherwise. She began her translation studies in Russia, and in her second year traveled to California in order to immerse herself in the culture and to, “begin dreaming in English.”

The trip was fruitful enough to draw her back to California after graduating, where she’s been ever since. “You learn the mentality of the country through the language, and moving was the next step,” she said. “It was the right move, professionally and literally.”

At first she gruelled in unpaid internships and interpreting jobs that were unfairly paid, because she believed, “it wasn’t about making money, it was about making myself.” Uleva committed to and honed her craft by constantly reading articles, attending webinars, completing courses, and closely following industry trends.

“To be a translator means non-stop learning.”

Which is the same concept behind Claire Languillat’s 25 years as a French linguist. While it was the promise of travelling the world that initially drew her to the industry, continuous learning is what has kept her engaged. “To be a translator you must familiarize yourself with a variety of things beyond just the languages themselves. I read and research constantly — medical, marketing, technical, computing, and so on,” she said.

The laundry list of things to keep up on seems daunting, but Dutch linguist Maria van der Heijde-Zomerdijk insists that it is one of the things she cherishes most about the profession. “I love the fact that I get to search many different disciplines. I get ‘to look in the kitchen’ of many different industries,” she said.

And indeed she has looked into many kitchens throughout her 20 year career editing, proofreading, software validation/testing and voice in a number of fields (medical, telecom, software, marketing, education to name a few).

Both Languillat and van der Heijde-Zomerdijk share an interest in the medical industry that was sparked by translation work. Van der Heijde-Zomerdijk even miraculously found herself on the other side of her medical-related work. “A number of years ago, I had translated the instructions for use of the device that  a couple of months ago was implanted in my back,” she shared.

While it certainly helps, the full-circle effect doesn’t have to be so literal to be felt. While in one way or another, every woman expressed the positive impact the career has had on their life through its flexibility and promise of there always being something new to learn and to share, Uzuegbu put it best.

“We are the sharers of information which connects the world. We are the innovators, the entrepreneurs, problem solvers. We are learning and teaching at the same time — it’s a privilege, really.”

Past Chapter Events

Lightning Talks: Hacking to solve i18n issues, right-to-left shenanigans, internships at Facebook, and more

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In August, the Silicon Valley chapter of Women in Localization held an event featuring speakers from Facebook, Survey Monkey, Wikimedia Foundation, Oath, and Welocalize, hosted by Mozilla. Each talk was just a few minutes long, but packed with information.

The following speakers and topics were featured at the event:

Data driven localization internships
Speaker: Shweta Sathe, Facebook

Hacking to solve i18n issues
Speakers: Esther Perez and Nirav Trivedi, SurveyMonkey

Right-to-Left Shenanigans: Where BiDi fails us
Speaker: Moriel Schottlender, Wikimedia Foundation

Localization platform at Oath
Speaker: Yuriko Yamasaki, Oath (formerly known as Yahoo!)

Measuring ROI: Getting the most from your localization spend
Speaker: Samantha Reiss, Welocalize

You can read more about the speakers and why they chose to present on these topics here.

See the video of the event below.

Personal & Professional Wisdom

The Indian Market: Building A Case for Local Languages

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India has become a giant marketplace in recent years. She is becoming a critical player in e-commerce as she starts the transition to a cashless society with online services like Paytm. This major transition arrived with a changing trend in globalization and with the increase in internet connectivity and the resultant e-commerce. Inevitably, the focus strongly shifts to localizing in more than just English and Hindi, to be able to cater to the rest of India who speaks the another 21+ languages. This large consumer group in India, the fast-growing middle class, increased access to mobile phones across all strata and is seeking more content that is in their local or vernacular or the official state language in most cases.

Some strong factors to localize for the Indian Market in local languages are as follows:

Only a small percent of the Indian population speaks English

As a former British colony, India does use English as one of its official languages. According to the most recent census of 2001, there are 1,635 nationalized mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues and 22 major languages. Of these, 29 languages have more than a million native speakers, 60 have more than 100,000 and 122 have more than 10,000 native speakers. There are a few languages that do not have a script but have a group of native speakers. While Hindi is the national language, only 41% of the population speak Hindi. So if content is available in Hindi alone, you are not looking at the entire potential audience.


India has a Significant (and Growing) Online Presence

According to Live Internet Stats, in 2016, 462 million Indians used the Internet, which is 13.5% of Internet users worldwide, but only 35% of the population of India. As infrastructure improves and more and more Indians gain access to the Internet, the number of Indian Internet users will grow phenomenally.

A report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) noted that the number of native-language speaking Indian users is growing by 47% every year, largely due to growing prevalence of smartphones in rural areas. The remaining population is on its way to Internet access in the next decade, indicating an enormous potential customer base. With this “mobile revolution” there has been an explosion of mobile devices with several service providers contributing to mass access. This in itself justifies the huge demand for localized content in all the spoken languages.


E-commerce Shaping Localization Needs

India will be one of the largest emerging markets in coming decades. India’s economy is galloping at an incredibly fast pace, with its GDP rate at 7.5% in 2018, demonstrating it is also a huge market for International products. An option to provide apps in Regional languages alongside English will drive more adoption of technology.

People who do not speak English are averse to online transactions or use of technology because they do not understand English, and they feel alienated. But if commercial websites were to be made available in the local vernacular language, it would be worth the investment. Increased localization in the regional languages is required to enable more users to participate in online transactions and to make computers “user friendly” through the language of their choice.

Anagha Patil is a global project management expert with 15+ years of experience in localization best practices, vendor management, business development, customer success, linguistic testing and QA. Her international experience includes managing and creating cohesive and motivated teams in Asia, Europe and North America. Anagha is a member of Women in Localization’s marketing committee and recently joined the Data AI team at Amazon.

Women that Rock

Women in Localization: 10 Year Anniversary – Keeping It Fresh

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Keeping it fresh! What keeps you in the localization industry?

Co-author: Mimi Moore, Vikki Carter

On its tenth anniversary, we asked a few Board members of Women in Localization (Anna Schlegel, President and Co-Founder, Silvia Avary-Silveira, CFO and Co-Founder, and Sonia Oliveira, Director, Executive Partnerships) to enlighten us on their experiences and thoughts for the future, looking forward to the next ten years of this wonderful organization.

Mimi Moore and Vikki Carter are both members of the Women in Localization (W.L.) content team. They found themselves in the somewhat unusual position of being on opposite sides of the world, with Mimi in California and Vikki in the U.K., but looking for the same thing at the same time: a career change with new and innovative opportunities. Not so unusual you might say. But making this change and starting afresh at new companies on the same day? What are the chances! So, from 5,000 miles apart, we put our heads together and thought we would ask a few Women in Localization leaders what keeps their careers interesting, challenging and enjoyable. Their answers are honest, thought provoking and insightful; they will resonate with many of our colleagues in the global localization community. We are sure you will find their advice invaluable and we thank them for participating in our research.

  1. After many years in the localization industry, how do you keep your career engaging and fresh?
  • Silvia: I love to learn, so I am always looking for opportunities to do so. In our industry, it is easy to find webinars, events, thought leadership articles, conferences and online courses. Many of those things are free of charge. I also like to take advantage of my network to learn from my peers and give back.
  • Sonia: I feel quite fortunate to have chosen a career in Localization. I believe the incredible amount of transformation we have seen in the industry has helped keep careers engaging and fresh. For at least the past twenty years, the industry has experienced an incredible amount of change on the technology front, with MT and AI for example, as well as with more robust tools and collaborative platforms. We have also seen great transformation on the business landscape with consolidation and acquisitions on the providers’ side, not to mention the great deal of diversification in terms of business areas they can now support. So, keeping up with all of that, this amazing transformation is part of what keeps me engaged. More specifically, in my career I have been able to work for companies that were both well-established and start-ups which allowed me to exercise all the skills in my toolbox. Each company has its own hurdles and challenges, as well as great learning and growth opportunities, which makes our journey a lot more interesting.
  • Anna: I have been in localization since the age of seventeen. I am now fifty! I have learned each little corner of it; QA, teaching, writing about it, being a freelance translator, being a GM for a vendor, having my own start up, and today being the Head of Information Engineering and Globalization Strategy. You must shake things up to keep it fresh – at least for me! Being part of organizations like Women in Localization is what allows me to see even more adventures – for example, in Artificial Intelligence and Globalization.
  1. If you enjoy your current role, what are the top 2-3 things that keep you there, and not tempt you to look for a change of position or company?
  • Silvia: What keeps me here is the flexibility I have, which in return gives me the work-life balance I need. I also see many opportunities for growth and a chance to make a positive impact. There are many challenges, but it keeps things interesting.
  • Sonia: The notion that we can always improve, learn, grow, and get even better is quite an important North Star for me. As long as I feel that I am learning and contributing, I don’t feel a need to change positions.
  • Anna: I love my current role; what keeps me there are definitely the people. I work with an incredible team. After that, the fact that we are all passionate about innovation, and we don’t settle, is quite something!
  1. What is the most important thing to you when evaluating your career in localization?
  • Silvia: It depends on the phase of my life. For example, when I was younger, my focus was growth opportunities and salary. Now that I have a family, I still value growth, but I value even more flexibility and work environment. I need to be able to work flexible hours, so I can be there for my family, and I also need to enjoy working so it is worth being away from them.
  • Sonia: The incredible experience I have been able to gather along this journey. How much I have learned and hopefully how much I have shared. It’s been an incredible ride and there’s so much more to look forward to. So, when I evaluate my career, I feel fortunate for what I have lived through so far and very energized for what it is yet to come.
  • Anna: I never envisioned a career in localization, it did not exist. I fell into it and I think I can say that I helped create it when we wrote the first localization certificate in California years ago with Nitish Singh, and that everyone at Women in Localization is creating it. But I did not search for it! I wanted to be a philosopher!
  1. Who or where do you turn for inspiration if you find yourself considering your work situation, and how do you evaluate whether making a move to a competitor or another company (or even out of the industry) would be in your best interest?
  • Silvia: I usually discuss this with my family. They help me evaluate the options, since any change affects us all. I also turn to people in my network that are closer to me for advice and I try to find people that might know my future boss/company to learn about the culture.
  • Sonia: I always need to believe in the company I work for, otherwise it would be difficult for me to feel authentic and engaged in any role. I find that change can be quite exciting, but to me it is only worth it when it’s apparent that the impact you will have in the new organization is larger than the one you are currently experiencing.
  • Anna: I turn to Harvard Business Review, The Economist, IDC, I listen to my team, I participate in a lot of Forums. Then I create my work situation. I like to invent from seeing a cross-functional puzzle outside of our area. If an application, process, or idea is good for another career or business problem, why not for globalization? There are many business practices to use in globalization. They are all out there, and you just need to put them together.
  1. What tips do you have for others in localization to keep their careers fresh?
  • Silvia: Take advantage of the many free webinars, events, and digital content we have. Talk to people, network, network, network, and go to conferences if you can.
  • Sonia: If you are fortunate to love what you do, it should not be that difficult. If you are in the localization industry, keep yourself well-read and well-informed. Attend conferences, participate in forum discussions, join professional groups (such as Women in Localization!) and be aware of the latest trends. The world is multilingual, and our interdependency is stronger than ever. Our industry will continue to play a critical and central role in new, exciting and innovative developments.
  • Anna: Talk to folks in different roles and spend time on your career. Plan it better than you’d plan an awesome vacation.
  1. What does Women in Localization’s 10th anniversary mean to you?
  • Silvia: So much! It is with pride that I look back and realize how we have matured and grown. When we started, we were a local group of professionals looking for connection and opportunities to learn and share. We were so local that our name used to be Northern California Women in Localization. Then we decided to go global, and that was one of the best decisions we ever made because we became so much bigger and we developed partnerships to create great things for the localization industry. So, it allowed us to not only help advance the career of women in localization here and abroad, but also the localization industry. Now, we are celebrating a new milestone for W.L., we have achieved Non-Profit Status, and we believe we will be able to do even more great things in the future. To the next 10!
  • Sonia: It’s an incredible milestone. I am one of the early members and it feels like it was just yesterday when I attended the first meeting. Today W.L. is a vibrant and ever evolving organization, with over 4,500 members and growing fast globally! So exciting to be part of it. I am so proud to be able to contribute, especially as a Board Member. Cheers to all the hard work these amazing ladies have put into this organization.
  • Anna: We have been on calls and meetings for ten years. Wow. Silvia and Eva (Klaudinyova) are my amazing partners throughout these past ten years. I am so grateful we pulled it off with the leadership and support of hundreds. However, we have had to open up, and learn how to listen to many advisors and experts to get us where we are. I have learned a lot! So, the actual anniversary commemorates our journey of our own growth. I guess we had a good idea!

Anna’s last sentence says it all. A good idea indeed! Big congratulations and appreciation to the hard work these wonderful ladies put in at all stages for Women in Localization. Thank you and happy 10th Anniversary!



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Silvia Avary-Silveira

SUNNYVALE, California, USA, September 17, 2018. Women in Localization (W.L.), the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry, is excited to announce certification as as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code provides tax exemption for groups organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. By generating donations, raising awareness, and encouraging efforts that will benefit the advancement of women in the localization industry, Women in Localization will clearly be fulfilling a charitable purpose.

In honor of this important milestone and keeping with its mission to promote women and the localization industry, Women in Localization has initiated a content series to share thought leadership from a diverse group of professionals in the localization industry. This thought leadership series will culminate in a panel discussion comprised of leaders from the Women in Localization community at SDL Connect, November 7-8, 2018 in Santa Clara, California where the most innovative content and localization professionals convene to learn about the latest trends and technologies driving the field.

Co-Founder and CTO Silvia Avary said, “We believe becoming a non-profit will help us fulfill our mission even further. We will be able to create and provide more opportunities for women in the localization industry.”

Believing that women need professional and personal support at every stage of their lives for the challenges they face in the workplace, W.L. fosters a community that supports women through mentorship, education, social events and advocacy for gender equality.

”Leading the non-profit task force has been one of the most difficult jobs I ever signed up to do for Women In Localization, but it has also been the one that I am most proud of,” said Avary.  “We have so many people to thank for this achievement. Everyone on the W.L. board contributed to the non-profit effort, but some names stand out: Mimi Hills, Allison McDougall, Duaine Pryor, and of course, my friends and co-founders of W.L., Anna N. Schlegel and Eva Klaudinyova.”

“Becoming a non-profit comes at the perfect time as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, and I could not be prouder,” said President and Co-Founder Anna N. Schlegel, “Our dream has exceeded our expectations: we went global, we became a non-profit, and we are in every single major event and global publication. We made it!”

“In this age of divisiveness, the success of Women in Localization stresses the importance of unity and community,” adds Eva Klaudinyova, co-founder and Secretary of W.L. “All our members, advisors and supporters believe in education, empowerment and equality. We are very proud to carry these ideals through our chapters and events around the world and want to thank all our past and present volunteers for the incredible journey we have been on together in the past decade. The new non-profit status will allow us to increase the scale of our efforts and we are looking forward to another decade together!”



About Women in Localization

Women in Localization (W.L.) was founded in 2008 by Silvia Avary-Silveira, Eva Klaudinyova and Anna N. Schlegel, and is the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry with over 4,500 members globally. Its mission is to foster a global community for the advancement of women and the localization industry. It aims to provide an open, collaborative forum where women can share expertise and experience and help each other move forward in their careers. Started in the San Francisco Bay Area, W.L. has expanded its membership to include women across the globe, encouraging members to meet in other local geographies. To learn more, visit  You can also follow W.L. onFacebook,Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Media Contact:

Liesl Leary

Women in Localization

Phone: (415) 203-7179



SOURCE Women in Localization

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Global Expansion Committee – 2018 Update

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Women In Localization has been expanding globally for the past few years and  going global Is methodically curated by a Committee. Women in Localization’s Global Expansion committee is chaired this year by Michele Smith, W.L. Board Member. Executive Director Kristin Gutierrez is responsible for partnering with Geo Managers Cecilia Maldonado for the North Americas, Miyuki Mori for APAC, and Maria Kania-Tasak for EMEA. Also serving on the committee is Valeria Barbero who manages Geo Chapter Content, Kate Kovtun as Social Media Lead and Maria Jesus de Arriba Diaz as Chapter Committee Assistant.

Our committee would like to share what we have worked on during the first half of 2018 and what we are planning for the remainder of the year.

We have multiple strategies for 2018: Launch four Chapters, increase communication with our local members, incorporate new GDPR laws, launch our new branding, prepare for our non-profit status, and support every existing chapter with questions, major events, training, and conference representation. WOW!

We felt energetic during Q1 and achieved our first goal to expand to four new sites.  Our first presence in Eastern Europe was with W.L. Poland. We expanded to APAC by opening our second chapter in China with W.L. Beijing and then our chapter in Singapore. We also opened our fourth U.S. chapter in Utah. This brings W.L. to 16 chapters around the world!

Since the beginning of Women in Localization there has been a lot of interest  in opening chapters, so we created a waitlist for new chapters. Based on this list, we carefully evalute where to go next. After all, that’s our expertise!

We methodically set up all chapters for success and make sure support and tools are in place prior to launching. Since we overachieved in Q1, our plan is to continue partnering with potential chapters and start launching new chapters in Q1 of  2019.

If you are interested in starting a local W.L. chapter please apply through our website and we will get back to you toward the end of 2018 during our evaluation period.

2018 also acknowledges Women in Localization’s 10th Anniversary! Our worldwide chapters are hosting celebrations that will culminate in an international celebration in Silicon Valley on October 5th, 2018 (please look out for details on our website and social media channels).

In addition, W.L. has been represented at many industry conferences in 2018: GALA in Boston, LocWorld Tokyo, and LocWorld Warsaw, and we are actively planning for LocWorld Seattle in October.

2018 has been an incredible year for  Women in Localization. We could not be prouder or more thankful for our amazing chapters. Their efforts have been exceptional and the Global Expansion Committee will continue to support them like the pros they are!