Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

By Debbie Butler

As we celebrate International Women's Day, as a longstanding member of the CIOL team, a member of the CIOL Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee and as a linguist (German) myself, I feel it is well worth recognising the remarkable contributions of female linguists, interpreters and translators as we celebrate International Women’s Day. Many women have played a vital role in breaking down language barriers, fostering cultural understanding and promoting linguistic diversity.

In the field of translation, countless women have left their indelible mark on the profession. Female translators have brought the world's literatures to new audiences and have helped to bridge cultural divides. Today, women continue to lead the way in translation, and make up the majority of CIOL’s membership, each bringing their unique perspectives, cultural sensitivity and linguistic expertise to the field.

Moreover, female translators have always been at the forefront of efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the profession, working tirelessly to celebrate and amplify the voices of women translators, helping to create a more equitable and representative profession.

In the realm of interpreting, both women and men have worked side by side to facilitate communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries. Every day women serve as role models for aspiring interpreters, demonstrating that success in the profession is based on skill, dedication and a passion for language, regardless of gender.

I personally believe that the struggle for gender equality in linguistics, translation and interpreting is not a battle between women and men, but rather a collaborative effort to create a more inclusive and equitable field. By working together, all language professionals can break down stereotypes, promote linguistic diversity, and foster greater understanding between people and cultures.

So, on this International Women's Day, let’s celebrate the contributions of female linguists, interpreters and translators, while also recognising the important role that men can and should play in promoting gender equality and linguistic diversity. We all want a future where everyone can succeed as a linguist; we all have a stake in that.

Debbie Butler is Communications and Marketing Manager for the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

Views expressed on CIOL Voices are those of the writer and may not represent those of the wider membership or CIOL.