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The Catalan Chapter of Women in Localization – my reflections

Author: Maria Kania-Tasak

As we are counting hours to ring in the new year, I wanted to reflect back on my year and a half tenure as a Chapter Manager of the Catalan unit of Women in Localization. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to open a Women in Localization chapter in Barcelona which gathered women (and even some men) who are passionate about localization and want to grow and develop in our exciting industry. I saw the need in our community for this organization, and I didn’t hesitate to pitch the idea of opening a new chapter to the core group of founders in the US.

Some of you may ask what the organization of Women in Localization is all about, and I am happy to provide some clarity.

The core organization of Women in Localization was founded in 2008 in San Francisco Bay area as a way to help women develop professionally in the localization industry. Its purpose is to encourage professional advancement, networking, and development of their technical skills. The main group has over 2000 members while various countries and regions have started opening up chapters to encourage women locally to embrace these ideals. Each geographical chapter organizes its local events with presentations and panel discussions that promote learning new localization technology trends and introduces local localization experts who share their know-how and mentor other women on how to progress their localization career. Since the organization is non-for-profit, it is up to the local managers to find presenters, sponsors and venues.

Back in July 2015, I initially started discussing the Catalan chapter with US-based Eva Klaudinyova, a co-founder of Women in Localization and Executive Board member. Eva has guided our Catalan chapter to take our first baby steps. Our very first meeting was tiny – a total of 6 women showed up and in order to encourage more brainstorming and just to have fun, I purchased two bottles of wine to help the cause.

The organization gained more momentum and more members enrolled each day. We have also been lucky to receive a lot of support from another co-founder of the main WL group – Anna N. Schlegel – a native Catalan living and working in San Francisco Bay area and an author of Truly Global who promoted our group everywhere.

In a year a half of the organization’s life and with the backing of wonderful ladies such as Muntsa Cuchi, Veronica Carioni, Ana Guerberof and Patricia Gómez, we managed to organize 6 more events where in some cases we had to put a limit on the number of attendees to keep them more manageable. Our most successful events included Agile Localization at the office of King.com and another one on demystifying Machine Translation with presenters such as Patricia Paladini from CA Technologies and local Machine Translation makers Tauyou and Lucy Software. We had many fantastic sponsors such as Vistaprint, Andrew Lawless and many more.

I am happy to report from the feedback we received that we have done well in our Catalan chapter and, I believe we achieved the purpose for which it was created. During our events we shared and talked about the hottest topics of the industry, we gave the local women a venue where they can freely network and talk about their job ambitions as well as guide each other. We provided an environment where a translator can find out about how she can become a BDM or how a project manager can benefit from machine translation technology in her job. All of this was held in a friendly, non-competitive setting where people feel at ease and love coming back for more.

As I am wrapping up, I am pleased to say that Patricia Gomez – the Content Manager at eDreams/Odiego will carry on as the Chapter Manager. I will support her in her role and hope that all local ladies and gentlemen in Catalonia will help us further develop our Catalan chapter. Thank you for all your support and for allowing me to get to get this wonderful Catalan chapter off the ground. I will be seeing you at the next event, I am sure!

Maria