International Women’s Day 2023


Article by Hannah Leske.

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day that originated in the early 1900s as a platform for women to protest against long working hours and pay inequality, and for voting rights. Although we’ve seen tremendous progress since then — a century ago, most women in the world lacked the right to vote, and today we have women leading governments — IWD is still accompanied by important protests against continued inequality for women and girls. 

The United Nations’ theme for IWD this year — DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality — highlights the digital gender gap and its impact on social and economic inequalities, including limited online protection and lower internet access for women that can limit their opportunities to pursue STEM jobs.

While we recognize the importance and significance of this theme, it’s interesting to note that the language services industry faces a different — and almost contradictory — problem. 

Women are overrepresented in our industry, accounting for nearly 70% of the workforce. Attracting and employing women isn’t a problem. In fact, women are often perceived to be better suited to jobs in the industry than men… evidence, perhaps, of a positive bias toward women. 

Unfortunately, this has yet to translate into equal representation within the industry.

Research has consistently shown that women are just as capable leaders as men. Yet, despite accounting for more than half of the language services workforce, women are still under-represented in senior positions. Women lead just 19% of the top-ranked Nimdzi 100 companies (meaning large LSPs are 4x more likely to be managed by men) and, despite conscious efforts to achieve roughly equal representation, only 22% of all of Nimdzi’s C-Suite HotSeat guests are female. Furthermore, the industry’s gender pay gap is comparable to the global average. If we want to achieve true equality, we must strive to have women and men (at least roughly) equally represented in all offices in the industry. 

However, today is about celebration just as much as it’s about protest. Although there is much room for improvement, Nimdzi wants to acknowledge and celebrate the successes within our industry, too.

We can be proud of the fact that 19% of companies in the Nimdzi 100 ranking are woman-run or woman-owned, especially as the share of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 ranking reached an all-time high of just 10.6% in January of this year. On this International Women’s Day, let’s also celebrate the achievements of women in our industry and recognize the following women for their successes as CEOs or owners of the largest LSPs in the world:

Nimdzi 100 rankingCompanyCEO or owner
15AMN Language ServicesCary Grace
34CQ fluencyElisabete Miranda
35Argos MultilingualVéronique Özkaya
44AkorbiVera Richards
45Certified Languages InternationalKristin Quinlan
46TranslatedIsabelle Andrieu
49Global TalkAstrid van Rossum
54MasterWord ServicesMila Golovine
57CSOFT InternationalShunee Yee
62Alpha CRCIsabelle Weiss
65JonckersSilke Zschweigert
68Traductions Serge Bélair (TRSB)Mary Kazamias
80DA LanguagesActar Arya
83Transline GruppeKatja Schabert
86Glodom Language SolutionsShirley Li
88SupertextKristy Sakai
91Hanna Interpreting ServicesJennifer Hanna
97itl Institut für technische LiteraturChristine Wallin-Felkner
99Hansem GlobalYang Sook Kim
Hannah Leske Nimdzi Insights

This article was prepared by Nimdzi's Localization Researcher, Hannah Leske. If you wish to learn more, reach out to Hannah at [email protected].

8 March 2023

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