From the President: Increasing Representation of ATA Members

From the President
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo
Twitter: @mszampaulo

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2023 together, I’m hopeful the momentum we gained and the progress we made in 2022 will continue to drive us to make even greater strides in promoting the translation and interpreting (T&I) professions and supporting you, our members.

Hopefully, you’ve already renewed your ATA membership for this year, but in case you haven’t, I would encourage you to take a look at the many benefits of being a member of one of the most recognized T&I associations in the world. We continue to offer more than ever in the areas of professional development, advocacy, certification, client education, and networking. ATA is here for you, no matter what your background or interests. In fact, our diversity is what makes us stronger.

You may have noticed in our recent Membership Survey that we asked you to tell us more about who you are. For example, we want to know how you identify/describe yourself, what areas of interest you have, what benefits you enjoy, and more. We’re a multilingual, multicultural Association. It would be a disservice to our members and the professions if we didn’t include diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) questions in our survey. Of course, we did receive a few questions about why we asked DEI-related questions in this most recent survey. The answer is twofold: the answers to these questions show us the diversity of T&I professionals in general and give us more information about where representation within our membership may be lacking. Given the current state of our world and the many “colors” of ATA, we owe it to our members to ask these questions and then present the findings as we move forward with new membership initiatives.

One such initiative is our new Special Interest Group (SIG) pilot program, which the Board of Directors approved in 2022. Over the years, it has become obvious that the many divisions in ATA, while representative of many in our Association, don’t serve every member. And as we know, one of the major benefits of ATA membership is belonging to and participating in a group of peers with similar interests and skill sets. SIGs are meant to be member-driven and have limited “bureaucracy” (i.e., no elections, leadership council, newsletter, website, blog, podcast, designated conference sessions, etc.). Their primary function is to facilitate communication and interaction among ATA members with common professional interests that don’t have widespread interest on par with that of an ATA division.

With this in mind, the Board approved the Interpreters & Translators in Education SIG and Financial Translators SIG for this pilot program at its Los Angeles meeting in October, with the Southeast Asian Language SIG soon to follow, pending Board approval.

SIGs enjoy the following benefits:

  • An email listserv via a account maintained by ATA Headquarters
  • A Facebook or LinkedIn group
  • Opportunities to gather at ATA’s Annual Conference
  • Monthly (or less frequent, depending on SIG activity level) networking gatherings or informal presentations/discussions
  • Publicity (ATA website, Newsbriefs, and Chronicle announcements) about how members may sign up for SIG listervs/groups

Depending on the pilot program’s success, the Board may decide to terminate SIGs, extend/expand the pilot term, or establish SIGs as an ongoing structure within the Association.

As we look to increase representation of ATA members across the board, it’s vital for ATA leadership to keep hearing from you. Get involved, tell us what you would like to see more of in ATA, and communicate with us about what we can do to offer you benefits that fit who you are and how you work. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2023 and beyond!

1 Responses to "From the President: Increasing Representation of ATA Members"

  1. Clarissa says:

    More training with scholarships and/or reduced for low income sector

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