A Spotlight on Women in Localization: A Silicon-Valley Group Gone Global

Category: Technology

Three talented women with a vision.  Four Masters degrees and one Doctorate. Combined fluency in 10+ foreign languages. Forty years of localization management experience. The math is pretty impressive – and the sum is one groundbreaking group: Women in Localization, founded in 2008 in Northern California’s Silicon Valley.

Anna Schlegel of NetApp, Eva Klaudinyova of VMware, Inc. and Silvia Avary-Silveira of Symantec, are the pioneers of this new group (previously NCWL for Northern California Women in Localization), and their credentials are impressive (see their bios). Their education and professional experiences in the industry with leading international companies such as NetApp, VMware, VeriSign, Xerox, Cisco and Symantec make them the female equivalents of Warren Buffet to the localization industry. If anyone is qualified to lead an international support group for women in the field, it is most certainly these three ladies.

WL was forged out of passion for globalization and a desire to facilitate networking among female localizers. “We wanted to have a group for women where they could ask questions and share their professional challenges without feeling intimidated”, Anna Schlegel explains. “This would be a dedicated place for women to develop their careers in localization with a goal of creating an open and collaborative forum where women could share their expertise and experience…Women often get overlooked for career moves and promotions, so we wanted a group where women could help each other to grow and learn.”

WL began with four members, quickly grew to 35 and now counts over 200+ worldwide. The initial idea was to create a local community for professionals in Northern California, a sort of support group that would meet regularly to network, discuss localization processes and best practices and get advice on infrastructure, vendors and other industry-related topics. But soon after the group’s creation, requests began to pour in from women in other countries who wanted to join the network. Membership has since expanded into Europe, Asia and Latin America, with the latter in the lead for member count.

The three co-founders would like to encourage women across the globe to create local chapters for gatherings and networking events. Their business model seeks to facilitate face-to-face interaction among industry professionals in each local community while uniting members globally via an on-line forum. The group is currently working on a website which will promote an international exchange of ideas and information.

Learn more about this group and join their ranks by visiting their profile on LinkedIn. As a member, you can benefit from a wealth of information sharing via their discussion boards, job postings, mentoring and quarterly events featuring presentations on various localization topics and trends.


Anna Schlegel

Anna Schlegel is Director of Globalization Programs at NetApp. Her background encompasses 20 years of leading international web teams, localization and global engagement teams at VMware, Acclaro, VeriSign, Xerox and Cisco. Anna is a native of Catalonia, and holds a Masters in German Philology from the University of Berlin and is fluent in 6 languages. Anna is a co-founder of Women in Localization.

Eva Klaudinyova

Eva Klaudinyova is Sr. Localization Manager in the Corporate Globalization Program at VMware, Inc., responsible for managing localization teams in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Apart from managing worldwide localization production, she is also responsible for linguistic quality, terminology and localization processes, as well as overall Globalization budget. She has been working in the localization industry since 2000. She holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Language Teaching from Slovakia, as well as a Master’s degree in Translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA. She is a co-founder of the Women in Localization (formerly NCWL) group.

Silvia Avary-Silveira

Silvia is a senior localization manager at Symantec. She joined the company in August 2010 when Symantec acquired VeriSign Authentication Services. Silvia has worked for VeriSign’s international web team since 2005 and is continuing that work as part of Symantec. A native of Brazil who has been living in the United States for the past 13 years, Silvia started her localization career doing translation and interpretation for several companies in the Bay Area.

Silvia has over ten years of localization experience, and she is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish. She has a marketing background and holds an MBA from San Francisco State University. Silvia has participated in numerous conferences and seminars and is a co-founder of Women in Localization, which aims to create a forum for women to develop their careers in localization and share experiences. She is also a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine by training but in the past several years has only provided care for her two mixed breed pooches.

Meet the Members of the Board:

– Anna Schlegel, NetApp, Chairwoman and co-founder, Executive Board Member
– Eva Klaudinyova, VMware, Co-founder, Executive Board Member (Continuing Education Manager)
– Silvia Campos, Symantec, Co-founder, Executive Board Member (Events, Membership Manager)
– Luciana Vecchi, Adobe  – Treasurer, Executive Board Member
– Carrie Fischer, Oracle – Public Relations Manager
– Lynda Roslund, Comsys – Event Manager

Women in Localization, WL (previously Northern California Women in Localization, NCWL) is a non-profit group founded by 3 industry colleagues and friends to promote the growth of the localization profession by mentoring and networking among professionals. The Board and Managers will meet monthly and rotate the Chair of the Board on a yearly basis. The group is seeing steady global uptake and the membership is growing daily with the addition of professional women localizers from around the world.

The group tackles issues such as engineering localization, worldwide planning, website globalization, working in virtual teams, latest globalization tools and process or writing for international audiences.