Personal & Professional Wisdom

Two years in, how women are making it through the pandemic

From reshuffling priorities to rethinking work-life balance, the COVID-19 era has highly affected our everyday habits and lives. More so, as recent studies confirm, it has hit women particularly hard globally, one of the reasons being the general uneven distribution of housework and childcare activities.

How were the women in our industry affected? Were localization colleagues around the world supportive? For this Women’s History Month, we asked volunteers at Women in Localization to share their biggest challenge and how they made it through the toughest times.

Stella Hodkin Paris

Social Media Manager, Italy Chapter

My biggest challenge

It’s crazy to think that 2 years have passed since I found myself at the center of the first European COVID outbreak in Bergamo, Italy. During this time, I was leading the Language Services Team at Translators without Borders (now CLEAR Global), and we found ourselves facing the first truly global crisis of our history. The workload was phenomenal and it was incredibly difficult to reconcile the long working days while trying to home-school 2 young kids.

How I made it work

Translators without Borders was incredibly supportive, and having a strong network of colleagues and friends in similar situations was a massive help. Finally, after 2 years, we are working towards a situation of acceptance and adjustment to the new normal.

María José Alberto

Argentina Chapter Manager

My biggest challenge

I think the biggest one was turning my on-site company into a fully remote one and helping my six-year-old son through his first year at primary school simultaneously.

How I made it work

I just focused. Both situations needed me, my time, my energy, my calm, and I enjoyed the journey. My son is always my North Star, and my husband supported me all the way, my family, my friends, my colleagues.

Sarita Desai

India Chapter Manager

My biggest challenge

It became more challenging to separate work life from home life. Juggling work, chores and caring responsibilities became harder, with work from home and schools going online.

How I made it work

Pradeep, my husband, who always has my back. Family and friends that always stay connected and encourage and motivate me. My son Tarun, that no matter what the situation is, always has a smile on his face that spreads happiness.

 

Dominique Pulse

Germany Chapter Manager

My biggest challenge

Childcare and handling work at the same time was one of the key problems we had to solve as parents. To be honest it was somehow also a blessing – we were just too busy to worry much.

How I made it work

Strangely enough, I believe it all worked out OK. We learned a lot about prioritizing and getting things done in less time. Other than that, I believe that everyone started accepting that you cannot operate at “normal” hours, so this was another key factor.

Maria Jesus De Arriba Diaz

Program Director, Chapters & Global Growth Program

My biggest challenge

Keeping everything and everyone going: homeschooling two young children, helping them understand what was happening and why they couldn’t socialize with their friends or go to school, a demanding full-time job, providing emotional support to my family, especially those older members who felt isolated, continuing to volunteer in several communities close to my heart.

How I made it work

Thanks to my husband, who is my rock, and my fellow volunteers at Women in Localization. The pandemic allowed us to spend more time as a family, and prioritize what was most important. I realized what I had been missing while running from one place to the next one pre-pandemic, and do not want to miss out anymore.

Conclusion

While the pandemic continues to affect our lives, nurturing great relationships with family, colleagues and fellow volunteers is the common thread binding the stories that have been shared with us today.

We would like to thank all volunteers who joined the conversation today and invite you to celebrate this Women’s History Month by writing down a few simple words of praise for yourself or for a woman that has inspired you during the toughest time of this pandemic, we all deserve to be celebrated!

Contributing author: Michela Sammarone

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