Looking Back: What an Eventful 2019

This year was a great year for Women in Localization and for me personally, also starting my new business Global Guild, with so many accomplishments to reflect on as my year as President of Women in Localization comes to a close.

I am so proud of the many new milestones Women in Localization reached in 2019. We planned to open seven new chapters, but we may actually open eight by the end of this year (Russia, Eastern Canada, Colorado, Texas, India Los Angeles, and France (Italy in the works). So many new members and supporters have joined Women in Localization’s sessions and learned about our industry, our organization and how to get involved through these new chapters. Each chapter has at least five volunteer leaders supporting it – so these new chapters also represent over forty new chapter leaders and volunteers joining our organization.

We also rebuilt our membership program independent from LinkedIn and more clearly defined what it means to be a member:

Women in Localization is an inclusive organization and welcomes as a member anyone in the globalization, localization, internationalization and translation industry who is committed to supporting a mission to foster a global community for the advancement of women in the localization industry.

As part of this definition, men are welcome to become members of Women in Localization, attend events and support our mission. Several initiatives were launched through social media to encourage signing up as members to receive official mailings and event notifications. So if you haven’t signed up yet this year as a member, please do so here – don’t miss out! If you were a member in the past through our LinkedIn sign-up, you still need to sign up again as we are no longer using LinkedIn for member management.

In addition to encouraging membership, Women in Localization launched a job board and mentoring matchmaking program to support and grow talent in our industry.

2019 was also Women in Localization’s first year as a non-profit with sponsors supporting our mission with their contributions. Sizable contributions from SDL, Welocalize, RWS Moravia, Amplexor and Vistatec provided critical funding for Women in Localization’s technology, events and programs throughout the year, helping us enter a new stage of maturity and enabling us to grow. We thank them for their incredible support!

During this year, I was fortunate to represent Women in Localization at key industry events such as LocWorld, SDL Connect and a Smartling-sponsored Women in Localization dinner. I had the pleasure of presenting the keynote at the Silicon Valley chapter networking event and joining the Los Angeles chapter’s first event. I met so many people who are excited about our mission and eager to join and support us as we continue to grow, including many of our new chapter leaders.

I’m very happy to announce next year’s Women in Localization President will be Liesl Leary-Perez. Liesl is the Head of Global Content Marketing at SDL and a long-standing Women in Localization Marketing Committee Board Member. I have absolute confidence that Liesl will continue driving our growth and help Women in Localization achieve even greater accomplishments. I’m excited to see the initiatives she will drive and thrilled that she will have a chance to guide the organization in 2020. I know Liesl will love her time as President.

As my year as President winds down, I can’t help but think about the small “ah-hah” moments that delighted me throughout the year. This year, two things come to mind.

First, every industry event I attended this year was like friends’ week. Our booth becomes a lovely hang-out zone for volunteers and members. Our members naturally clustered in groups at every event I attended. I’d go to lunch with one or two member friends and suddenly we are a table of Women In Localization members with other tables forming nearby. It’s such a pleasure to see community form naturally at all our industry events.

Second, I watched the Director-level of our organization really catch fire and gain their stride this year. These leaders took charge of their domains and it was wonderful to see, hiring as they needed, closing gaps, mentoring and accomplishing so much as they each built sustainable volunteer committees. For me, a happy org is one where people know their role, feel supported and have authority to run with it – in a supportive community of leaders, peers and team. We grew like crazy this year, but we also gained ground in how we work together and support each other. I feel at the end of 2019 we are a healthier, stronger organization with a culture that contributes to the growth and enrichment of all members. The foundation that we’ve been working on for so many years is starting to feel solid, which gives me great confidence in our continued growth.

Many people contributed to Women in Localization’s success in 2019. I’d like to thank all of our deeply committed board members for their unceasing guidance, our passionate program directors and chapter leaders, our advisory board, our sponsors and all the hard-working volunteers who make everything possible.

Our fabulous first-year sponsors provided the support for us to do so many events and solidify our infrastructure in 2019. We couldn’t have done it without you and we look forward to your continuing support in coming years. Thank you, SDL, RWS Moravia, Welocalize, Vistatec, Amplexor and all of the individual sponsors who hosted events, printed materials and volunteered your services when there was a need.

Our organization is fueled by dedicated, generous and amazing volunteers who juggle families, demanding careers and personal obligations all while also showing up and giving their time and love to keep Women in Localization running. As a volunteer organization where no one gets paid, everything we are is because of our incredible and selfless volunteers. You are all so amazing and I am deeply honored to have served as your leader this year.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the board and all of Women in Localization’s volunteers. I wish you and yours a happy holiday season and new year. It was my honor and my pleasure to serve as your President in 2019 and I send my best wishes for your continued success into 2020!

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 5,000 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. on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.