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"Diversity" in the translation industry
Thread poster: Gerard Barry

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:51
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Harm is a precondition Sep 30

Chris S wrote:
If someone is harmed, fair enough

On that we agree - I'm certainly not advocating frivolous complaints and lawsuits. Unlike, I suspect, the vast majority of people on here I've actually brought legal action against errant employers, so from personal experience I can confirm that it's not something to be undertaken lightly (even when you win, as I did). I suspect internal HR complaints are similarly stressful for the person bringing the complaint.

Dan


Chris S
Becca Resnik
P.L.F.Persio
 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
United States
Member
German to English
+ ...
. Sep 30

Dan Lucas wrote:

Becca Resnik wrote:
Agreed! This is the root of why the diversity efforts don't (I dare say "don't need to") go both directions, in my opinion. I am a firm believer in [the pursuit of] eliminating double standards from both sides, whether that benefits me or hinders me. But there are certain situations that are just not equivalent, and I think this is one example. Not to say that more balanced communities aren't better for every field, but rather to say that the need is just not so strong the other direction.



To reiterate: if a man is discriminated against because of his sex, it is just as much of a problem for that person as a women being discriminated against because of hers.

To bring this back to the original post, if a male translator is being discriminated against on the basis of his sex, he has as much right to expect redress as would a female translator in the same situation.


Regards,
Dan

[Edited at 2020-09-30 07:00 GMT]


Yes, absolutely! I did not intend to imply this and was only stating that diversity efforts don't necessarily need to go both directions. Really, I should have been more specific and stated that I was specifically referencing efforts to get more men into the language sector, in following the response I was responding to.

Edit: I added the first sentence in my quoted paragraph back in.

[Edited at 2020-09-30 11:47 GMT]
Edit: I am at least a little curious if this is an issue of US/UK English fixed phrase difference. At any rate, I will further clarify that "diversity efforts" refers to things like hosting STEM career fairs for middle school girls, advertising that all races are welcome in a certain place (there's a church near me with that implication stated on a billboard), etc.

[Edited at 2020-09-30 12:00 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
 

Viesturs Lacis  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 20:51
Member (2014)
English to Latvian
Is it an either/or situation, though? Sep 30

Becca Resnik wrote:

Yes, absolutely! I did not intend to imply this and was only stating that diversity efforts don't necessarily need to go both directions. Really, I should have been more specific and stated that I was specifically referencing efforts to get more men into the language sector, in following the response I was responding to.

Edit: I added the first sentence in my quoted paragraph back in.

[Edited at 2020-09-30 11:47 GMT]


On a broader societal level, definitely. But that doesn't mean that specific industries where diversity is unbalanced in a different way should not explore their own situations and evaluate their options. As long as we all agree that it is diversity per se that is desirable, not merely the redress of the disadvantaged. I don't think it's fair at all to accuse people of being reactionaries, fellow travelers and useful idiots who are working to undermine minority causes, and avoid engaging with their points as "distracting from wider and more important issues".

I wonder if there aren't some small but significant cultural differences here. In America, central to the issues of discrimination is the concept of "protected group/class". Admittedly, I'm not a native speaker, but I do find it a bit weird that vocabulary that is normally used to refer to a specific subgroup of people is used in a situation where everybody is a member of many such "subgroups" and it is to be applied to everyone. The European human rights discourse that speaks of prohibited criteria of discrimination sounds much more appropriate and less likely to confuse laypeople (and yes, I've encountered plenty of people who believed only minority and disadvantaged groups such as women or African Americans were "protected classes" under the law). I wonder if it's a coincidence that, in my experience, it's mostly Americans who subscribe to the view that "we should only push forward to a raceblind/genderblind society once an actual parity has been achieved first", whereas European legal discourse tends to skip the latter part.

[Edited at 2020-09-30 12:11 GMT]


 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
United States
Member
German to English
+ ...
. Sep 30

Viesturs Lacis wrote:


As long as we all agree that it is diversity per se that is desirable, not merely the redress of the disadvantaged. [Edited at 2020-09-30 12:11 GMT]


Agreed for sure! I think the key is that "diversity" itself and "diversity efforts" are related yet quite different concepts, at least in US English, as I clarified in my previous response. I was originally trying to state something more benign than it might have seemed, although I feel that it has led to an interesting discussion at least!


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:51
Member (2004)
English to Italian
The Commissioner... Sep 30

Dan Lucas wrote:

Incidentally, this post reminded me of a television interview I saw, many years go, with a newly appointed and very senior female police office in the UK. I think she might have been a Chief Constable.



is a Dick now... so, everything's ok again...


Chris S
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 11:51
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Hadn't noticed Sep 30

Gerard Barry wrote:

Hi all,

As a man working in the translation sector, it's pretty obvious that a) the number of men working in the field is very small and b) there are no efforts on anyone's part to change this. Yet when women are underrepresented in any field (and even when they are very well represented!), there are are all sorts of initiatives to increase their numbers. I'd be interested in hearing anyone else's thought on this matter, but I'd like especially to hear from other men how you find working in a female-dominated industry and having to put up with casual and institutionalised sexism from female colleagues, and employers.


Honestly, I hadn't noticed. I see plenty of men in the Kudoz, the forums, and on the proz.com staff. I guess those men are a) comfortable enough in their own skin to choose a 'minority' profession, and b) have the skills and the entrepreneurial spirit to make a success of it.

Nobody forces you to work somewhere where you're unhappy. You have choices. Make a change: start with your attitude and the rest will follow.


Becca Resnik
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Zibow Retailleau
writeaway
Kay Denney
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Gerard Barry
Germany
Local time: 19:51
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Actually, what you describe isn't well documented at all. Sep 30

Jocelin Meunier wrote:

"It is well documented that men are encouraged to head toward "real skills", like science and math, while women are more encouraged to go toward literature or psychology. It's not like anyone tells boys "translation is not for men" the same way girls are told that they're not "logical enough" for math, for example."

Actually, what you describe isn't well documented at all. Men and women mostly choose different types of work based on their own pref
... See more
Jocelin Meunier wrote:

"It is well documented that men are encouraged to head toward "real skills", like science and math, while women are more encouraged to go toward literature or psychology. It's not like anyone tells boys "translation is not for men" the same way girls are told that they're not "logical enough" for math, for example."

Actually, what you describe isn't well documented at all. Men and women mostly choose different types of work based on their own preferences. I don't understand why people find it so difficult to understand that it's possible that men and women make different choices of their own free will.

By the way, when I was a boy, I was never encouraged to pursue a science or maths-based careers. Instead, my parents wanted me to be a teacher (or some other public-sector type of work) as they saw this as a well-paid, secure, pensionable job, which it is. As for girls being told they are "not logical enough for maths", those days are long gone. For many years now, the red carpet has been rolled out for women in STEM jobs, yet they're still underrepresented there because most of them simply aren't interested in those types of work. People can't be forced into doing jobs or taking college courses that they just don't want to do!

I also find it interesting how you limit your discussion of work choices to professional, white-collar jobs. When you look at more physical, blue-collar jobs (which are usually, but not always, less well paid than white-collar ones), it's obvious that men are often just as "over-represented" here as they are on management board or as engineers, software developers, etc. This is due in so small part to the fact that, on average, boys tend to do less well at school than girls, reducing their chances of going to college. Moreover, women still tend to shy away from doing physical jobs, which of course is their prerogative. I can't remember the last time I saw a female courier or food delivery rider, for instance, to name but two jobs which I can imagine are not very well paid. To see which sex does better in life, you have to take a holistic view, and not just focus on who is better represented in a small number of well-paid fields like engineering, IT or whatever.
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Askar Usin
 

Jocelin Meunier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:51
English to French
Old debate Oct 1

Gerard Barry wrote:
Men and women mostly choose different types of work based on their own preferences. I don't understand why people find it so difficult to understand that it's possible that men and women make different choices of their own free will.


Because your "own free will" and preferences are greatly affected by your environment and how society thinks men and women should act. Just google "education gender biases" and you will have enough studies to read for your entire life.

Gerard Barry wrote:
To see which sex does better in life, you have to take a holistic view, and not just focus on who is better represented in a small number of well-paid fields like engineering, IT or whatever.

Men are over-represented in politics, banking, military, higher education and pretty much every well-payed fields. In other words, everything that is rule-deciding. That's pretty holistic, I would say.

Anyway, I feel that this is going to turn into a good old "nature vs nurture" debate and it's obvious who thinks what, so let's stop there.


Becca Resnik
expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Gerard Barry
Germany
Local time: 19:51
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Why are you ignoring blue-collar work? Oct 1

@Jocelin Meunier: Again, your're ignoring blue-collar work in your assessment. For every man in a top position in politics, banking or the military (all highly stressful by the way with lots of responsibility), there are many more working in lower-paid, physically demanding jobs (construction, for example). Do you not notice these men? Do they not matter? Is their work not important? I can only presume that the reason you ignore these kinds of jobs when discussing this issue is because - like mo... See more
@Jocelin Meunier: Again, your're ignoring blue-collar work in your assessment. For every man in a top position in politics, banking or the military (all highly stressful by the way with lots of responsibility), there are many more working in lower-paid, physically demanding jobs (construction, for example). Do you not notice these men? Do they not matter? Is their work not important? I can only presume that the reason you ignore these kinds of jobs when discussing this issue is because - like most translators - you come from a white-collar family background where the concerns of the working classes were and still are completely irrelevant, hence the nitpicking obsession over female representation in elite, highly-paid fields at the expense of a more holistic take on things.

As regards men in highly-paid positions, bear in mind that most of these men are married to women who benefit enormously from the high salaries earned by their husbands. It's well documented that, when looking for a partner, women pay close attention to income and social status. When was the last time you heard of a female translator, or lawyer, or doctor marrying a guy that worked in McDonald s or Burger King? It rarely happens.
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Askar Usin
 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
United States
Member
German to English
+ ...
. Oct 2

Gerard Barry wrote:

@Jocelin Meunier: Again, your're ignoring blue-collar work in your assessment. For every man in a top position in politics, banking or the military (all highly stressful by the way with lots of responsibility), there are many more working in lower-paid, physically demanding jobs (construction, for example). Do you not notice these men? Do they not matter? Is their work not important? I can only presume that the reason you ignore these kinds of jobs when discussing this issue is because - like most translators - you come from a white-collar family background where the concerns of the working classes were and still are completely irrelevant, hence the nitpicking obsession over female representation in elite, highly-paid fields at the expense of a more holistic take on things.

As regards men in highly-paid positions, bear in mind that most of these men are married to women who benefit enormously from the high salaries earned by their husbands. It's well documented that, when looking for a partner, women pay close attention to income and social status. When was the last time you heard of a female translator, or lawyer, or doctor marrying a guy that worked in McDonald s or Burger King? It rarely happens.



Equally overlooked is how much those men benefit enormously from the women who married them. Aside from the most wealthy, who hire caretakers, these women often do the behind-the-scenes work that allows these men to be where they are in business. They raise the children, take care of the house, and very often balance the books, maintain files, etc. Do they not matter? Is their work not important?

Note that, despite the stereotype that all modern women are saying this arrangement is "wrong," I am not. I believe that whatever arrangement is agreed upon and/or works for the couple is fine, whether that's one supporting the other financially and the other running the house, both earning an income, or whatever else. I'm just pointing out that there is another side to the story that is often left out. It is easy to forget what the women are contributing in these stereotypical/traditional households, as they are not paid for this work. I really get it. But it's an important part of the story.

[Edited at 2020-10-02 13:03 GMT]


Jocelin Meunier
P.L.F.Persio
Dan Lucas
Rachel Waddington
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
Sarah Maidstone
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
@Gerard Oct 2

You still haven't given any examples of sexism in the translation industry or in your own experience. As things stand, it seems you just want to argue for the sake of it.

I can't help feeling that if you're as aggressive at work as you keep coming across here, it's not surprising that you feel an outsider and might have rubbed someone up the wrong way to the point where they take pleasure in overcorrecting your work...


Zibow Retailleau
Jocelin Meunier
Sheila Wilson
P.L.F.Persio
Dan Lucas
expressisverbis
Becca Resnik
 

Gerard Barry
Germany
Local time: 19:51
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
I agree with you, Becca Oct 2

@Becca:

Of course the work performed by housewives matters. I never said it didn't. It's precisely because I value the work performed by housewives (be they full or part time) that I despise the whole "diversity" agenda in companies as it ignores female (and male) preferences with regards to who goes out to work, who runs the household and who does most of the child-rearing, etc. I've read about studies that show most mothers want to strike a balance between working outside the home
... See more
@Becca:

Of course the work performed by housewives matters. I never said it didn't. It's precisely because I value the work performed by housewives (be they full or part time) that I despise the whole "diversity" agenda in companies as it ignores female (and male) preferences with regards to who goes out to work, who runs the household and who does most of the child-rearing, etc. I've read about studies that show most mothers want to strike a balance between working outside the home and spending time with their kids, doing the housework, etc. Yet the "diversity" fanatics insist that women must make up 50% of management board members and other high-flying positions, completely ignoring the wishes of real women, especially those with children.
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Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
German to English
+ ...
Gerard Oct 3

It seems the first time you did not see my post, so I'll try again.
Most of us are freelance - self-employed. Since we are our own boss, have no boss, and chose the profession and to do this work - there is no thing as anyone "deciding" how many men vs. women should do this work. The diversity thing just does not pan out. Translation is relatively low paid, and that may be another reason why there are more women and men doing it. Not that men aren't allowed in, but that they opt out. P
... See more
It seems the first time you did not see my post, so I'll try again.
Most of us are freelance - self-employed. Since we are our own boss, have no boss, and chose the profession and to do this work - there is no thing as anyone "deciding" how many men vs. women should do this work. The diversity thing just does not pan out. Translation is relatively low paid, and that may be another reason why there are more women and men doing it. Not that men aren't allowed in, but that they opt out. Possible?
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P.L.F.Persio
Dan Lucas
Kay Denney
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
Becca Resnik
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:51
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Maybe you just live in a backwards country Oct 3

I can't remember the last time I saw a female courier or food delivery rider, for instance, to name but two jobs which I can imagine are not very well paid.

I can. I don't have figures for Hong Kong, but in Taiwan about 45% of UberEats and Foodpanda workers are female.


P.L.F.Persio
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:51
Member (2018)
French to English
. Oct 3

Gerard Barry wrote:

@Jocelin Meunier: Again, your're ignoring blue-collar work in your assessment. For every man in a top position in politics, banking or the military (all highly stressful by the way with lots of responsibility), there are many more working in lower-paid, physically demanding jobs (construction, for example). Do you not notice these men? Do they not matter? Is their work not important? I can only presume that the reason you ignore these kinds of jobs when discussing this issue is because - like most translators - you come from a white-collar family background where the concerns of the working classes were and still are completely irrelevant, hence the nitpicking obsession over female representation in elite, highly-paid fields at the expense of a more holistic take on things.

As regards men in highly-paid positions, bear in mind that most of these men are married to women who benefit enormously from the high salaries earned by their husbands. It's well documented that, when looking for a partner, women pay close attention to income and social status. When was the last time you heard of a female translator, or lawyer, or doctor marrying a guy that worked in McDonald s or Burger King? It rarely happens.





Yes, women are under-represented in the construction industry. Men are under-represented in cleaning, to the point that "cleaning lady" is still the most common term to describe those whose job is to clean.

Your claim that women marry for money is highly insulting. Even Melania has been proved not to be the gold-digger we thought she was.


expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
Becca Resnik
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
 
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