March 2024

Women in the Language Industry

In celebration of Women’s History Month, women in the industry share personal accounts of challenges, perseverance, and achievement in their careers. Plus, industry veterans discuss the evolving opportunities for women in the field over the past 35 years.

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n many ways, the story of women in the language industry is the story of women in the workforce generally. Historically, women have filled undervalued, low-level jobs; but in recent decades, opportunities in more diverse professions and leadership positions have grown. Working conditions structured around traditional gender roles often made it difficult for women to balance career and other responsibilities; but recently, there has been a growing acceptance of flexible working arrangements and family-friendly benefits.

This upward trajectory is reflected in the articles in this issue of MultiLingual — from Bridget Hylak’s op-ed on underappreciated female linguists; to Inger Larsen, Nancy Pollini, and Silvia Benassi’s roundtable discussion on the progress they’ve seen over their long careers; to the nine essays written by ladies in the field on what gender, feminism, and empowerment mean to them.

The good news is that the language industry is keeping pace with broader societal trends, but let’s not get complacent. While reading the thoughtful words of the many female authors featured in this issue, I couldn’t help but be impressed by their passion and resilience. Certainly, the women in this business have earned their place at the table.



Women and the Language Industry

A 35-year oral history

By Inger Larsen, Silvia Benassi, and Nancy Pollini

No one knows history like the people who experienced it. Industry veterans Inger Larsen, Silvia Benassi, and Nancy Pollini witnessed the massive expansion of language work alongside globalization and advancements in computer technology, and they experienced similar challenges and triumphs along the way — many directly tied to their gender. These are their stories, told in their own words.


I Am Woman

Personal essays on career choices, work-life balance, and supporting one another

Navigating Gender

Expectations as a

Cultural Chameleon

Marjolein Groot Nibbelink

Juggling Words and Twins

A Mom Translator’s Guide

Ambra Santori

Feminism vs. Chivalry

How My Internal Conflict Was Resolved

Nataliya Horbachevska

Embracing Empathetic


My Unexpected Career Path Within the Language Industry

Pamela Parra

Order, Limits, and Pauses

Finding Work-Life Balance in Localization

Alexia Aguzzi

Valuing Authenticity

and Kindness

My Journey From the Basketball Court to the Conference Room

Indrė Lelevičienė

Creating a Successful Career

in AI Translation

Blanca Vidal

The Irreplaceable Pearl

at the Heart of Human


Katharine Allen



Heavy Lifting From the Backseat

By Bridget Hylak

We all know them: those tireless, selfless, “word nerd” warriors whose fingerprints are all over the subtitles on the films we watch, the brochures at our doctors’ offices, and the commercials advertising in-demand products — the profits of which they will never properly share in. Bridget Hylak calls for greater appreciation of these hard-working professionals, many of them women.


Dashing off a Letter

By Tim Brookes

Dwindling numbers of people in the Western world write in cursive. Using his own signature as an example, Tim Brookes makes the case for this flowing, letter-to-letter writing to enable speed, comfort, and even grace.

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Enabling the American Journey

Expanding Language Access for LEP Individuals in the US

By Deema Jaradat

Language access is a long-term investment that is more affordable and attainable than we might think. Deema Jaradat presents timely, cost-effective solutions for extending language access to ensure that every individual — regardless of their English proficiency — can navigate essential aspects of their American journey.

Artificial Intelligence

AI in Globalization

The Next Mass Extinction or an Evolutionary Leap?

By Edith Bendermacher and Mimi Moore

Will globalization go the way of the dinosaurs? Edith Bendermacher and Mimi Moore argue that by exploring new directions, learning from others, and leading change, globalization teams can leverage AI to not just survive, but thrive.