Skip to main content

Women who are bridging the gap

These initiatives aim to end gender inequality in the technology and translation industries

In a scene from one of my favorite series ever, Mad Men, the character Peggy Olson talks to a male journalist who is covering the Freedom March in 1963. Peggy then comments to the colleague that she’d like to see the same movement for women’s rights. The journalist laughs and scoffs at Peggy’s comment.

While it’s true we’ve still got some way to go despite many advances since the 1960s, newer generations are working hard to use technology to reach across the gap of gender inequality. To celebrate the International Women’s Day, which is an official holiday in some countries in Asia, Africa and Central America, I researched initiatives that aim to end gender inequality in the technology and translation industries, and here I’m thrilled to share some of them with you…

#BreakTheBias 🙅‍♀️
The theme of the International Women’s Day 2022 campaign is #BreakTheBias, a constant topic for our editors working with gender-based languages. Can AI Eliminate Bias? This is the question that this SXSW panel intends to answer, inviting us to mind the language gap. The cherry on top is the participation of Unbabel co-founder and CEO Vasco Pedro. I also found this interesting article about women and machine translation that’s well worth reading.

Women in Translation 📚
The Women in Translation project has existed for almost a decade promoting women writers around the world (transgender and non-binary and intersex individuals included) writing in languages ​​other than English. Every August, they carry the Women in Translation Month, and the community gathers to read, review, and discuss works by women writers.

The British publication The Economist highlighted some of their best coverage in celebration of International Women’s Day. Among so many of the incredible stories displayed on the page, one that caught my attention the most was about The Annotated Arabian Nights: Tales from 1001 Nights, the first English translation by a woman (British-Syrian writer Yasmine Seale), including female protagonists who were previously omitted from the original Arabian Nights.

Women in tech 👩‍💻
Talking in numbers, a research carried out by Deloitte Global predicts that large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022. With the mission of closing the gender gap, the NGO Women in Tech was created, with the aim of guiding, promoting and integrating women in the technology industry.

“That is the obstacle that we will overcome. Women will start conceiving themselves as technologists and not ‘women in tech’, says Mariana Fidalgo, Machine Learning Operations Engineer at Unbabel. Mariana also shares with me: “One quote that I look up to is from Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) that says: ‘In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.’”

I asked members of our global community to name an admirable woman who is/was a public figure in their country. Here’s our Community pick!

Do you know more initiatives to reduce gender inequality or that highlight work done by women? Share them in the comments below!

Women who are bridging the gap was originally published in Unbabel Community on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.