DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality
Every year, on 8 March, countries around the world celebrate International Women’s Day to recognise women’s achievements and to defend their rights, regardless of their national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political background.

The world around us is going digital. The technological revolution is affecting us all and is reshaping the way we live and work.

That is why this year’s International Women’s Day, officially introduced by the United Nations (UN) in 1977, places the focus on women and digitalisation.

In 2019, the European Commission predicted that Europe needed a further one million digital experts. According to the UN: by 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas. Yet, today, women hold just 22% of the positions in artificial intelligence (AI), to give just one example.

AI is used regularly by the Centre as part of our machine translation (MT) strategy.

We have asked our colleague Anna from our Advanced Language Solutions Section what her day-to-day activities consist of and how she sees her future in the area of MT. Here is what she says:

‘My day-to-day activities are multifaceted, evolving and challenging. An indicative and non-exhaustive list of activities comprises:

  • interaction with my colleagues for project reviews and status updates, planning of tasks, troubleshooting and brainstorming;
  • performance of machine translation (MT) related tasks such as data collection and processing, training of neural MT engines, setup of quality evaluations, testing and monitoring systems and integration of MT feedback;
  • provision of training and support to translators on MT post-editing related tasks;
  • contribution to other natural language processing (NLP) projects;
  • project management and interinstitutional coordination of eTra-Local, a custom MT solution put in place by the Centre in collaboration with the European Commission’s DGT/eTranslation team for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO);
  • continuous learning and keeping my knowledge up-to-date with neural MT, NLP and AI research, developments and trends.

I see a bright future ahead for anyone involved, myself included, in the fascinating field of MT, as it keeps evolving, together with AI. Text, speech and image will be seamlessly blended, yielding wider context for generating more accurate and fluent translations, while trained linguists will give added value with their expertise and subject-matter knowledge, language instinct and refined interpretations. My aspiration is to manage and coordinate innovative multi-modal MT/AI projects that will make cross-language, multilingual and multicultural communication more effective, as well as leave a positive footprint on our path towards digitalisation.’

Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but is also key to building prosperous, modern and technology-driven organisations, such as the Centre. We count on talented, motivated women like Anna for our success.

Image by EU Agencies’ Network (EUAN)