If you’re fortunate, you work for an organization that has a clear commitment to gender equality. One that values the diverse experiences and perspectives of all employees, knowing that it helps drive business results. Studies have proved this, after all. Companies with female executives are more likely to outperform those with fewer women executives, or none at all.
Unfortunately, not all companies prioritize gender equality in leadership. In fact, women are consistently shut out from mid-level management positions. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women are promoted.
And while women have a strong presence in the localization industry, we too can do better.
Equality Talks: Women on Leadership
Embracing gender diversity goes beyond merely seeing the value ‒ it includes ensuring that women have equal opportunities to develop, advance and be hired throughout the company.
As part of an ongoing commitment to support gender equality and the localization industry as a whole, the online localization series, LocLife™, hosted by Acclaro, recently held an event focused exclusively on gender. Equality Talks: Women on Leadership featured a panel of female leaders sharing their insights on where we are as an industry — and where we’re going.
Although none of the panelists felt that gender played a large role in their path to leadership, all the women saw evidence of inequality at some point on their journeys. The themes were illuminating, showing areas where the localization industry is doing well, and where there’s room for improvement.
“Women have different challenges when it comes to leading. You have to be able to voice your opinion and take criticism, without breaking down or thinking you’re a failure,” said Carrie Fischer, Manager of Globalization Services at Subway.
Lupe Gervás Pabón, Senior Director, Globalization at Disney+ agreed. “It’s OK to not have the words. Be humble with others and other cultures. It makes you a better leader.”
“It pains me to say this, but I am 100% convinced that I wouldn’t have been as successful as I have been had I remained back in Italy. Italy still has a lot of issues related to gender parity that are systemic, rooted, and very hard to eradicate,” said Giulia Greco, Localization Programs Lead at Shopify.
Cecilia Maldonado, President of Women in Localization (W.L.) shared, “Argentina is a very chauvinistic culture where stereotypes have an impact on the role of women. It’s a lot harder to pursue dreams and have big goals if you’re home taking care of the kids. Women have part of the responsibility there, and we have to work to change it.”
Nataly Kelly, VP of Localization at HubSpot, said, “I’ve become increasingly aware of my responsibility to do something to help other women who don’t get the same opportunities.”
Carrie Fischer added, “Show everyone that you have just as much right to lead as anyone else. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion of you keep you from becoming everything that you want to be. Find your people. Find the ones who support you. Encourage you. Mentor you. Connections are your strongest ally.”
Keep the Conversation Going
Charting our course toward becoming a powerfully diverse and inclusive industry is not the result of any one initiative or one individual. It’s an ongoing approach focused on setting aspirational and realistic goals, combined with accelerated leadership development and unconscious bias education.