Women in the language services industry

August 18, 2017

According to a quantitative survey on gender and family with almost 2,200 respondents in 71 countries by industry consultancy Common Sense Advisory, Inc., roughly two-thirds of language professionals are women. If you’ve ever worked in this industry, this will not come as a surprise. Counter to what some may believe though, these women not only excel in language positions but also in technical positions.

Women hold just over half of the job titles containing ‘localization’, i.e. engineering-centric positions. The majority of localization providers are small in company size. They “cannot afford to engage in the sorts of ‘social engineering’ of which critics accuse large corporations. If women were not successful in this area, they would not stay in it because small providers would not tolerate poor performance.” This seems to contradict the theory that women might be less suited for technical positions.

Even more interesting, regardless of company size, employees at female-led localization providers seem to be more productive, generating an average of 37% more revenue per employee than those run by male CEOs. “Women CEOs are also much more likely than their male counterparts to have an operations background, meaning they succeed precisely because of their technical skills in the field. They also tend to be better educated and to have a greater knowledge of the technical side of the field, while male leaders are brought in because of their business background.”

Localization companies helmed by women are significantly more productive.

The gender pay and advancement gap, however, is still real, with full-time employees earning 14% less than men. Women are more likely to put their careers second to their family’s needs. They also still feel more pressure than men to cut back and stay home during times of family crises. As a result, they often find themselves excluded from leadership roles regardless of performance.

Women in localization experience an overall pay and advancement gap.

CSA’s blog concludes that women in our industry do not take jobs away from men but rather improve the industry. “Including them is not political correctness, but a necessity for any business that hopes to succeed in the long run.”

Source: Common Sense Advisory, Don’t Google That: CSA Research Finds that Women Excel in Localization Positions

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