It’s an amazing time to be in the localization industry. Our billion-dollar industry is consistently being transformed by emerging market needs, medical advances, geopolitical changes, and groundbreaking technologies — say hello to Gen AI — you name it, we touch it and these events are all revolutionizing traditional approaches to global growth. At the center of this fast-changing industry, Women in Localization (W.L.) plays a critical role.
Founded in 2008, Women in Localization offers unique opportunities for thousands of professionals around the globe to connect, grow, and lead globalization innovation within a truly diverse global community. Our mission remains steady: we foster a global community that supports the advancement of women and the localization industry by providing professional development, networking, and mentorship.
Let’s take a closer look at six ways Women in Localization influences the localization industry, and why you should join it:
Women in Localization’s networking opportunities offer a chance to connect with professionals from across the localization industry and its various aspects, from internationalization to marketing, from content systems to global infrastructure, from localization vendors to brand training, or how to set up a globalization center of excellence. For this, W.L. manages hundreds of events every year, including mentorship, educational webinars, and social meetups, which create a sense of community and provide a chance to meet and mingle with colleagues. With over 11,000 members and 30 chapters worldwide, W.L.’s growing network ensures that no matter where members are based, they have access to a supportive and vibrant community.
“Professionally, I have been able to meet and learn from so many people in the industry, whom I would otherwise never have been able to connect with,” says Partnerships program volunteer Susan Morgan. “I have found a group of women who support me – a network I can talk to about work-related challenges, but also an incredible support network for the personal challenges life brings.” – as published in Multilingual Magazine, October 2023
Catering to diverse interests and needs within the globalization community, networking events include everything from in-person or virtual local chapter meetings and international conferences like LocWorld, to online webinars, holiday get-togethers, specialized industry workshops, panels, hackathons, and innovation talks!
The Women in Localization Mentorship program pairs experienced localization professionals with those seeking career guidance in the localization industry. This program is flexible and personalized to accommodate the unique needs, goals, and preferences of the mentor and those being mentored.
This year our program reached a new milestone with 86 mentors and 208 mentees. So far, we’ve made over 100 matches, carefully pairing mentors and mentees based on aligned interests and needs.
“I’ve volunteered as a mentor in the Mentorship program since the program was launched,” said volunteer Alessandra Gobbi. “I discovered that my personal experience could support women professionals moving into a new role or a higher stage in their career path. The unexpected outcome from being a mentor is that I learn a lot from the mentees: different roles, ways of working, educational backgrounds, unknown industries. Being a mentor opens new horizons.” – as published in Multilingual Magazine, October 2023
3. Professional Development
In addition to networking and mentorship, Women in Localization offers a range of professional development opportunities designed to empower women at every stage of their careers. Programs and activities organized by W.L. include educational webinars, industry-specific workshops, and discussions on career advancement.
Our professional development programs in 2023 have been particularly robust, featuring our BookBuzz series as well as educational events on topics like Marketing for Translators and Financial Literacy. 2023 also marks a year of innovative initiatives that enhance W.L.’s digital outreach, including video series that focus on advocacy, career advancement, and inspirational role models.
Additionally, members benefit from access to the latest research and trends in localization, providing valuable insights and keeping them informed about the industry’s evolving landscape.
4. Career Opportunities
Women in Localization enables professional growth and provides access to career opportunities via professional relationships and our free job board. Whether you are just starting your career or looking to advance, the W.L. connects you with potential opportunities.
“I was volunteering for the Global Sponsorship program of W.L. and casually mentioned I was considering changing my career path,” said W.L. member Irene Onorino. “The next thing I know, the following week I had an interview scheduled with my current employer! I’ll always be thankful for the unique opportunities of growth and development, and I am honored to have the chance to give back to the organization with my volunteering work.” – as published in Multilingual Magazine, October 2023
Remember to become a member of W.L. to access all of the resources in our Global Community, including the job board.
5. Volunteering and Leadership
Volunteering with Women in Localization contributes to the organization’s mission while also offering substantial personal and professional growth. With more than 275 volunteers, W.L. offers a range of volunteer roles, from leadership positions in program management to hands-on roles working with partners and sponsors, managing marketing activities, organizing events, and engaging with technology and mentorship.
Volunteer opportunities are designed to support W.L.’s programs, foster development, create new experiences, enhance skill sets, and expand professional networks. Our volunteers often share inspiring stories of their involvement with W.L., which has led to significant career advancements and personal growth.
“Volunteering not only allows me to connect with my local community, but also helps me to know more amazing L10N people all over Canada,” says member Chengcheng He. “I am a bit shy, but being an events manager motivates me to be brave, enjoy the pleasure of building relationships with ladies with the same enthusiasm, and set a proactive mindset! I benefited a lot in this process, personally and professionally.” – as published in Multilingual Magazine, October 2023
Volunteering at Women in Localization is a flexible, enriching way to explore different roles, engage with our organization, and discover new passions.
6. Promoting Global Diversity
Women in Localization is deeply committed to promoting global diversity, a key priority for our organization in 2024. As a global community, we strive to be a force for promoting equal opportunities in the localization industry. Our members play a pivotal role in shaping global policies and practices, contributing to international forums, and collaborating on global projects.
By fostering an inclusive environment, we empower professionals from diverse backgrounds to share their unique perspectives and expertise. This inclusion enriches our community and drives innovation and progress in the industry.
Why Should You Join Women in Localization?
Members of Women in Localization enjoy many benefits for career advancement and personal growth including:
- Global Professional Network: Access to a global community of professionals in the localization industry, providing unique opportunities for networking and collaboration.
- Professional Development Programs: A variety of programs including educational webinars, industry-specific workshops, and mentorship opportunities to enhance skills and industry knowledge.
- Cutting-Edge Industry Insights: Exclusive access to the latest research and trends in the localization industry, keeping members informed and ahead in their field.
- Career Advancement Opportunities: Networking and a dedicated job board feature a range of career opportunities, connecting members with potential employers in the localization industry.
- Empowerment and Support: A platform for personal and professional growth, fostering a diverse and supportive environment for women at every stage of their careers.
Why Women in Localization Rocks
Women in Localization is more than just a professional organization – for over 15 years it’s been a force for change dedicated to promoting gender equality, diversity, and inclusivity in the localization industry. All are welcome and it is free, all we ask is that you work in the space of global programs.
Through our comprehensive offerings, W.L. empowers its members to lead, grow, and succeed. The organization is a priceless resource for everyone in localization, providing tools, resources, and a global community to support your professional journey.
If you have a passion for localization and a want to make an impact, Women in Localization is the ideal place to start. Become a member or join us as a volunteer for a chance to shape the future of the localization industry.
By Anna Schlegel, President and co-Founder of Women in Localization