March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day, formerly known as International Working Women’s Day, focused on defending and highlighting women’s work. Today, this day goes beyond the working world to commemorate the fight for equality and women’s emancipation.
This day is extremely important for iDISC staff. Did you know that most professionals in our field, translation, are women?
According to the survey carried out by Aneti (National Association of Translation and Interpreting Companies) 82% of the students studying translation and interpreting at Spanish universities are women.
Based on this statistic, the translation sector is predominantly made up of women.
Why is this so?
We could conclude that this is probably due to the fact that this type of work is linked to certain values traditionally associated with the female world, such as empathy and understanding. We obviously believe that these qualities are genderless, but because they are so closely linked to female stereotypes, they have led to professions such as translation being filled with women.
This is something we want to highlight today: women’s work in the world of translation.
And we can think of no better way to do this than by recognizing our female colleagues and their hard work.
Today we would like to celebrate and showcase women’s work by following the individual story of one of our most experienced colleagues and her career in this profession. We also want to give a voice to young female colleagues who are part of a new generation of translators and to whom the future of iDISC Information Technologies, as well as the future of translation, belongs.
Introducing Núria Riera, iDISC’s Quality Manager
Núria, who we all affectionately call “Nuri” is a 58-year-old translation professional who has been working at iDISC for over 30 years and who has helped build the company that we are today.
Here is a brief interview covering her personal and professional background:
Nuri, tell us how you became interested in the world of translation:
“I studied translation and interpreting at the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona) when it was still a 3-year degree. Years later I received my Bachelor’s Degree from UVIC (Vic University). Since I was a child, my favorite subjects were languages. Over time, I learned from very good teachers that knowing other languages was not only a tool to communicate with more people, but also to understand other mental structures and different perspectives on the same situation.
I think this has helped me to be a flexible and open-minded person.
Studying translation also encourages you to constantly reflect on the differences and similarities between different languages, and leads you to discover how much substance and potential words can have when used properly.”
Can you tell us what your work at iDISC actually involves and how it has evolved?
“Currently, as Quality Manager, I am in charge of coordinating quality processes, and maintaining certifications and company policies. In addition, I play a part in some communication and marketing tasks for our iDISC brand. I was the first translator at iDISC, when the term “localization” was not being used yet. There was no computer-assisted translation software, and we actually participated in the pilot tests for the first CAT tool on the market. I then moved on to project management and, later, helping to implement our first quality certification. I combined this with some in-house training and work with some universities that were starting to add localization to their translation studies.”
How did you learn about iDISC and when did you join the team?
“I was studying translation in 1991 and already living in Olesa de Montserrat, and iDISC was a small software development company. They contacted me because a multinational IT company had started to outsource their translations and was looking for IT companies that could take on in-house translators. This ensured that linguists had on-the-spot technical and terminology support and access to industry expertise.
That was the beginning of my career, which to this day has always been at iDISC’s side.”
Tell us a little about yourself so we can get to know you better on a personal level.
“I am married and a mother of three children. I consider myself a creative and outgoing person. I try to exercise and I’m involved in amateur theater. Like translation, theater is a great vehicle for spreading culture, language and experiences.
I like to dance (I did classical dance for a few years) and one of my main interests is holistic health. I studied 4 years of traditional Chinese medicine, although I do not practice it. I have even worked as a gymnastics teacher, a P.E teacher, an English teacher and also a theater instructor. Communication and passing down knowledge have always been linked to both my professional and personal life.
Ah! And I like dogs.”
Have you noticed any changes in your work experience since joining iDISC? If so, can you tell us about these and your work experience prior to iDISC?
“iDISC has always made it easy and granted flexibility for balancing work and family. My role as a mother and as a professional at iDISC has always been balanced thanks to the empathy and values of my company. First and foremost, we are people who work together, and the well-being of each person has a positive impact on the company.”
How do you think being a woman has affected you in the workplace and on a personal level?
“For me it has never been a handicap thanks to the industry in which I work. The world of translation is female-dominated. This means certain values such as managing our emotions and sensitivity in dealing with people are more present. I think it’s something that shows in the spirit of the company.
However, I am aware that, as a woman, you always have more on your plate. Balancing home life, motherhood and childcare while being a responsible professional poses many challenges”.
What do you like most about your job at iDISC?
“iDISC, plain and simple. There are some things I like more than others, such as tasks that bring out my creative side. Working with communication and human interaction, as I said, is one of my main motivations. Communication makes me feel like I’m connected to the world all the time, and that’s why I’m passionate about this job”.
What are you proud of? In terms of your job and your personal life.
“I get up and come to work happy every day. I could count on the fingers of one hand (well, maybe both hands) the times I have felt out of spirits during these 30-plus years. I like my job and it makes me feel fulfilled. On a personal level, I am proud of my children, my family and the valuable relationships I have with my friends”.
What would you like your future at iDISC to be like?
“I would like to have the opportunity to help train the women who will probably take over from me. Help train the new generations that come along full of sparkle and energy. Like Paula García, one of our newest project managers at the company. I would like to be able to pass on everything I have learned and share it with my colleagues”.
What is your take on International Women’s Day?
“I have always worked on that day, and that is what I would like the rest of my female colleagues, and those to come, to be able to do: be able to work in balance and on equal terms with their male colleagues.
Balancing our professional and personal life in the right proportions. Your whole life doesn’t have to be work, but it’s good to make work part of your life.”
We think it is wonderful to have Núria on our team and we believe it is very necessary to share and highlight the stories of women.
Núria is the voice of iDISC’s experience and the voice of experience as a professional who has made her way through the world of translation, facing challenges and becoming part of what the industry is today, but we also want to give a voice to the young translators in whom the future of this profession lies:
Introducing Paula García, Project Manager at iDISC and future of the company
Tell us a little about yourself, your job at iDISC and how you joined the company.
“I am currently a project manager (PM) on the RMT team. I started in January 2021 and I am fortunate to still be working in this team, which is also made up of great women. Within the team, I am in charge of organizing, planning and following up on translation projects. In addition, we are also a liaison point between customers and translators to ensure that the entire translation process goes smoothly. In the end, project managers are kind of like orchestra conductors who are in charge of “putting together puzzles” with many pieces and making sure that they all fit together perfectly”.
What would you like your future at iDISC to be like?
“In the future I would like to take on more responsibilities in the team or even work together with other departments (e.g. quality), so that I can become familiar with all areas of translation. I would also like to create a new department dedicated exclusively to teaching and conveying the key points of project management to new recruits.”
What is your take on International Women’s Day?
“In my day-to-day life I always try to stand up for women’s rights and make the people around me aware about gender equality and diversity. March 8 is a good date to take to the streets and assert ourselves as women; to highlight the pursuit for equality that currently does not exist in our society, and to confront the injustices that we often see as being detached from us, but that are very present in our daily lives.
Over the last few years I have joined the strikes and I have actively participated in them together with the most important women in my life, because I believe it is a necessary fight that needs to be visible. However, this year will be the first time that I will work during the day at iDISC and later join the demonstration. Even if I don’t fully join the strike, I think it will also be nice to share it with my female colleagues and to do it at iDISC, a company with lots of women and where I have always felt that we are respected and treated completely equally.”
These stories inspire us, make us reflect and allow us to put a face and a voice to those women who are doing hard work. We hope that anyone reading this will also be inspired to promote equality around them.
Finally, we want to highlight the importance of all those women who make the world go round, whether they are professionals, students or domestic workers. We would like to thank all those women whose daily efforts allow us to evolve as a society.
We are signing off with Nuri’s final words there, because we believe that they perfectly sum up how we feel as people who work in the world of translation and who are part of the iDISC team:
Communication makes me feel like I’m connected to the world all the time, and that’s why I’m passionate about this job”.