Whether it’s a direct line to getting a job in the industry or simply the way we change due to our roles here, being a part of Women in Localization has been life-changing for many of our members and volunteers. Here, we advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality, which really only means that we fight for one another. We support education, mentorship, diversity and inclusion, and work-life balance. Most of all, we work hard and share both personal and professional wisdom that not only benefits us personally but that we share with others.
This month, we wanted to share the insights of some of our peers who have benefited from the many opportunities and resources that Women and Localization have to offer our members, volunteers, and the localization community.
When Edith Bendermacher joined the Silicon Valley Chapter in 2016, she had no idea that presenting at a few events would boost her confidence and set her on her own leadership path.
“When I became an active member of Women in Localization — first as a social media manager and content producer and now in my role as Program Director, Marketing — my network with other industry peers expanded even more. My role here has helped me to gain insight into the localization work of other globalization leaders, project managers, technical personnel, and LSPs. Women in Localization was integral to strengthening my position as a globalization leader.”
While we have many truly accomplished women in our organization, we all remember what it was like to start out in the industry. The world of business can often be intimidating for women, but having the support of others can make all the difference. Whether working together virtually on W.L.’s volunteer programs or discovering lifelong friendships through our collaborations and in-person meetings, connections like these make a big difference.
“Having always worked with companies outside my country of residence, I had very little contact with networks within the industry,” says volunteer Rucha Sheth. “Thanks to Women in Localization’s India Chapter, I feel much more connected now with the lovely localization people in my country, who are super talented and experienced.”
For example, the W.L. Mentorship program aims to empower women at every career stage by connecting them with experienced localization professionals.
“I found a mentor in our Board Sponsor, Maria Kania, who delivers wisdom and professionalism in every possible way,” shares W.L. volunteer Irene Onorino. “She’s such a generous leader, always ready to provide guidance and share precious advice. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything that Women in Localization has meant for me over the past few years and I’m happy to give back by volunteering.”
In addition to mentorship, our members and volunteers also report newfound enthusiasm to share their experience and take on leadership roles, such as Ketty Territo, who has participated as both a mentor and a mentee.
“I was extremely lucky to have one of the most influential people here as my mentee,” Ketty says. “Talking to her empowered me to present at events and grow my network, which has helped me to expand my knowledge and influence. Now I’m able to take an active part in the organization of wonderful events for our community and contribute to the growth of this wonderful organization.”
In addition to connecting mentees and mentors, Women in Localization also provides a lot of “nuts and bolts” education about topics ranging from machine translation to resume writing — or as Miruna Parchirie puts it, “the best school for localization I could hope for.” One benefit of membership is access to our newly formed Global Community, which provides an online portal, webinars, and other exclusive member benefits.
We all cheer when any one of us experiences success, whether it’s unexpected or hard-earned. Vanessa Prolow was hired for her first position out of graduate school by a fellow Women in Localization volunteer, and another volunteer acted fast on a job description posted by a W.L. member and got the job.
When Mimi Moore began volunteering to create and manage content for Women in Localization, it started her path towards her current role as a freelance content marketing writer and localization consultant living in The Netherlands.
“I could never have guessed that Women in Localization would lead to changing careers, which has given me so much satisfaction, let alone to living in Europe and having such great friends and a supportive network I can count on,” she says. “I am immensely grateful, and I couldn’t have done any of this without all of you.”
When Carrie Fischer first started attending meetings in coffee shops and company break rooms as a charter member of Women in Localization, she couldn’t have imagined she would one day serve as the first program director for W.L.’s Global Community. She also couldn’t have predicted that focusing on her passion — encouraging, participating, and engaging with like-minded people — would lead to her becoming our organization’s current President.
“Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement, like asking someone to chair a committee,” Carrie explains. “But that little spark can lead to great things. Women in Localization can be the starting point of something big for women just starting out in life, or for someone like me, who is over 50 and finally realizing her potential. We can all experience success without the power of connection; but how happy would we be?”
Grow your industry knowledge, build your professional network, and promote inclusion within localization by becoming a member, volunteer, or mentor of Women in Localization. Join us today!