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For decades, women have been fighting for equality in the workplace. In recent years, a lot of progress has been made to level the playing field. However, women feel that there is still much to be accomplished, such as bridging pay gaps and removing prejudice. How does the norm compare for women in the translation industry?

A businesswoman sitting at her desk, hard at work

A recent survey conducted by CSA Research polled 2,854 workers in the language services industry across the world. The hope was to gain an idea of how gender, family, and employment affect the professionals that work therein. Here’s what they discovered:

Women make up the majority of all language professionals across the industry.

The survey found that women made up the majority of all language professionals industry wide. Apart from Africa, which saw 46% of the responders as female, each other region of the world saw that women made up over 60% of professional translators. The highest percentage of which was in Southern Europe, which saw 86% of responders being female.

For in-house and agency translators, responders said that the majority of their co-workers were female. Upwards of 59% of , as reported by both males and females.

The median pay of both men and women in the translation industry is roughly the same.

The median pay for both men and women in the industry is around USD $65,000 per year, however, a pay gap does emerge after looking at statistics. The study showed that men employed by a translation agency make 36% more earnings than women on average, while women who freelance make around 12% more than their male counterparts.

The pay gap between men and women is greatest in Europe, but in North America, the pay gap is practically nonexistent. In Latin America, women make more money than men!

Men disproportionately receive higher positions and more frequent promotions.

The pay gap within the industry is a direct result of men holding and being promoted to higher positions. Even though the majority of workers in the translation industry are women, men appeared more frequently in positions of authority. As a result, men receive higher pay. Men also tend to hold their positions and employment in the industry longer. In contrast, women more often work in positions of self-employment.

Women responded that certain factors affect the way they are treated within the industry.

Responders revealed that they felt discriminated against due to a number of different factors. Female responders ranked their gender, whether or not they had children, and their age as the top three discriminatory factors against them. Gender ranked the highest among the three. Meanwhile, education was one of the factors that female responders believed had earned them preferential treatment within the industry.

The statistics are telling compared to male responders, who responded that the only negative factor with which they had been discriminated against was their age.

Men and Women want similar things from their career and employment.

Despite their differences, the poll showed that men and women want similar things from their careers. Men and women in the translation industry ranked fulfilment at work, flexibility, and a well-paid salary as the most important things to them in their careers.

The Takeaway

Women make up a majority of the translation industry and respectfully make their mark in the world of freelance translation. There is still more to be done, however, within in-house and industry jobs.

Men and women both want similar things from their careers in the translation industry.  Keeping the data in mind, we can continue to find ways to make sure that every member of the translation industry has an equal chance to obtain the benefits and career they want.

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