As the year draws to a close, I cannot but look back in pride and astonishment about what Women in Localization has achieved this year. We have reached 12 chapters around the world and we have several more lined up for the next quarters. All of this would not be possible without the passion and devotion of women like Maria, who has been reaching out, mentoring, supporting, coordinating our members in the EMEA region. A successful Chapter founder herself, she has been a crucial player in the global expansion of our organization. Maria is also Account Director at Translations.com and an avid runner.
Maria Kania-Tasak has been working in the localization industry for over 16 years. She has held various roles including sales director, account manager, quality ISO manager and business development manager. Maria is very active in the localization community and loves participating and presenting at various conferences such as LocWorld, Elia and others. She also opened the Women in Localization chapter in Barcelona and currently holds the role of Global Expansion Manager for the EMEA region. Maria works as an Account Director at Translations.com managing a team of Account Managers helping clients go global. Maria is a Polish-Canadian native and has been living in Barcelona, Spain for the past 12 years.
1. What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Maria Kania-Tasak and I work as an Account Director at Translations.com managing a team of Account Managers serving global clients.
2. Where do you live?
I live in Barcelona, Spain.
3. How many countries have you lived in?
I have lived in 3 different countries – I was born in Poland, moved to Canada when I was young and I have lived in Spain for over 12 years. And I hope it doesn’t stop here!
4. What is your global footprint? This is our way of measuring how global our group of women is. so, you can tell us in how many countries you have lived, you have visited or you have traveled to.
My global footprint? When people ask me where I am from, I laugh and say I am a citizen of the world! I was born in Poland, grew up in Canada and now live in Spain. I love each and everyone of these countries and feel so lucky to have had the experience to live in each place. I also know that I will not stop here. My dream has been to eventually — “when I grow up” — to live in a country where I can work for a non-profit global organization bringing relief to the most needy. I have been to more than 30 countries worldwide, but the more I travel, the more I feel there is so much more to discover.
5. What did you study?
I studied Rhetoric and Professional Writing at the University of Waterloo in Canada and also did some studies on Digital Marketing at various institutions.
6. What do you like about your job?
In my current job as an Account Director, I can make use of my sales skills and learn about managing accounts and large global projects. Since my team focuses on e-learning, website and e-commerce sites for travel & hospitality, life sciences and fashion retail, I am learning something new every day. I must say that I have an amazing team of international Account Managers (Italian, French, Brazilian, British, Spanish) who are dedicated to their clients and give all they’ve got to help their clients reach their goals of going global. And to top it off, Translations.com is full of surprises, and I don’t think it will ever stop surprising me. For example, we have several in-house recording studios worldwide, we can not only localize an e-learning platform but also develop it from scratch or produce a corporate video from scratch, since we have in-house video producers. I could go on and on, but the bottom-line is that I feel lucky working in the position of an Account Director at Translations.com
7. What surprises you in the world of localization?
I love the fact that I can work with global clients and one day be helping a client in London with their e-commerce website and localizing their products into 15 languages and the next day I could be talking to a hotel chain who needs to increase their visibility and footprint in Asia and we need to guide them on a strategy that would help them with their multilingual SEO, website localization and their global coverage of social media. So the pure variety of the clients and projects I can deal with, but I also love dealing with international clients and working with people from different countries. It’s an industry that is never boring!
8. How did you get involved in WL?
Several years ago when I went to LocWorld, I discovered Women in Localization at a social breakfast and I thought to myself that I have to open a chapter in Barcelona. I got in touch with Eva Klaudinyova – one of the founders of Women in Localization and she helped me setup our chapter for Catalonia. I don’t speak Catalan, but that didn’t stop me from opening a chapter because I saw a need in our region to bring women in our industry together so that they can learn from each other, network and grow professionally. I am so happy because we were able to create a very vibrant localization community that includes both men and women in the region who love meeting up at our chapter events.
9. What is your role in WL?
I am currently working as a Geo Manager for EMEA in the Global Expansion Committee and I am helping to open new chapters in my region while supporting the existing ones. Very soon we will be opening a chapter in Poland, then we have plans to open chapters in Sweden, Italy, Russia and so on. The waiting list is long as there is a lot of interest in our organization.
10. In which direction would you like WL to develop in the future?
I think we will be growing more globally and as we are getting the formal status of non-for-profit organization, we will become more collaborative and interactive with the global chapters and also collaborate with global corporations who support our cause.
11. Are you planning a WL event? If so, please tell us about your event and you can add a registration link if you want or a FB page link to promote your event.
As I am responsible for various chapters in EMEA, there is not one specific event that I can advertise here but several – our Amsterdam chapter will have a Christmas networking event on Dec 7th and our Catalan chapter will have a fun event in Barcelona on Dec. 12th.
Links are below, don’t forget to sign up if you are in the region!