In 2022, Natalia Cama's MA dissertation, "Minority Representation and Experiences in the UK Language Services Sector," was published in the ITI (Institute of Translation & Interpreting) bulletin for November/December 2022 and on the ATC's (Association of Translation Companies) website. Her study explored ethnic minority and minoritized group experiences in UK language services companies and the nature of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality (DI&E) initiatives in this sector. In autumn 2021, a quantitative survey was conducted with employees of ATC member companies. The study aimed to enhance our understanding of minority group experiences in the sector and provide insights into the ethnic composition of staff in this previously uncharted UK sector. This study was inspired by a Market Research Society (MRS) survey conducted in 2020.
The study offers an initial glimpse into DI&E in the language services sector and the experiences of minorities, particularly ethnic minorities. Most employees surveyed acknowledge the presence of DI&E concerns and recognize the need for improvement. Significant concerns, particularly among younger employees, suggest room for progress. Compared to their white, British, middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual, able-bodied male peers, most participants do not feel disadvantaged.
However, the study reveals that there is limited ethnic diversity in this sector, warranting further exploration in future research. It should also investigate gender salary disparities more comprehensively. Constraints in sample size prevent drawing substantial conclusions on these issues. Nevertheless, the perspectives of female respondents should be explored further.
One concerning finding is that 66.7% of participants believe that discussing personal experiences of discrimination or witnessing improper behavior with senior executives would harm their careers. This necessitates additional investigation into reporting workplace abuse, the escalation process, and how organizations and senior executives respond.
On a positive note, LGBTQIA+ individuals express optimism about DI&E in the industry, suggesting effective leadership and robust DI&E foundations. Extending such programs to other demographics covered in the survey would be valuable.
In summary, the research indicates widespread recognition of DI&E issues and a strong impetus for change. With adequate resources, further research, and DI&E program support, the next generation of UK's language services sector employees can look forward to a more inclusive and equitable work environment.
MA, Translation Studies
Award Date: 30 Jun 2022