From edit to mix: A spotlight on women in localisation at VSI

Twenty years ago, it wouldn’t have come into question if the lead protagonist for a dubbing project was male, with the director, producer, casting supervisors and engineers also being male. Whilst we acknowledge gender parity is still an issue, we have made strides as an industry over the past two decades with increased representation on the big screen, seemingly paving the way for more women in entertainment.

At VSI, we are proud to provide equal opportunities – regardless of gender – throughout the localisation workflow. And some of our projects are testament to this.


Popular anime sci-fi series

Set in an isolated prison world, mysterious disappearances unearth deadly secrets hidden within the mines. Our dubbing director and producer Haley Veres recently completed the Japanese to US English dub of this major sci-fi series. She worked alongside an all-female localisation team in Los Angeles, including the recording engineer, script adaptor, QC technician, talented female actors and dialogue editors. “It's rewarding to work in an industry where female voices and representation are supported and celebrated,” says Haley.

The two female editors were Airi Mori and Karla Carmona Marroquin. Airi says the show sought to challenge gender stereotypes and she is proud to be part of the team making it accessible to a wider audience through localisation. For Karla, it was great to work with multiple women on the localisation: “It goes to show if we stand together, we can break through stereotypes.”


As lead editor, Airi finds it empowering to work in a field where you are largely evaluated on your technical skills: “People acknowledge me through my work, regardless of how I look or what I am. It is refreshing and drives me to give my very best to provide a consistent quality of work.”

Karla, who recently moved from lead QC to editor, says prior to working at VSI, there have been instances where her knowledge has been questioned or she would get cut off when speaking: “Sometimes it feels like I have to work twice as hard to prove myself.” As time goes by, she notices more women are working in localisation and emphasises the support she has had from her peers at VSI.

Airi adds, “I am grateful to be in a place now where I do not feel silenced or given less opportunity because of my gender. Instead, I have been encouraged to share my thoughts and grow as a leader as well as a teammate. I hope more people get to experience this in their workplace.”

Comedy-drama for a global streaming service

Relationships, sexuality, family matters and professional lives. This series broke the mould of what it means to be a woman, following the journey of four friends as they collectively tackle life issues on the path to female empowerment. Our São Paulo-based sound mixer, Rosana Stefanoni, and proofreader, Laura Beatrice, worked together on the dub of this series from Spanish into Brazilian Portuguese. They were part of a wider team with a female executive producer, dubbing director, translator and voice talent.

“The series focused on a group of women supporting each other despite facing gender stereotypes and prejudice, mirroring our everyday experiences as women in real life. It highlights the importance of shared experiences, exploring the idea that being a woman isn’t just about kindness, strength and courage, but difficulty, struggles and injustice too,” says Laura. Rosana believes this was why she could bring some of her own experiences into the mix. “I love the show because I can relate to their relationship as adult women. I have a group of female friends and this dynamic, although sometimes challenging to capture in the mix of new language versions, was familiar to me in real life.”


Rosana has worked for over five years as a sound mixer. It’s another technical role in localisation historically dominated by men. When she first started, she says, some of her colleagues and clients expressed surprise when they met her: “‘Are you the mixer?’ is a question I’ve heard many times. Fortunately, I get compliments about it now. It is a male-dominated area, but people want more diversity. The reactions I receive now show me change is usually welcomed.”

She might be a relatively rare example of a female mixer, but is surrounded by talented female directors, producers, translators and QCers. “Localisation is inclusion. Women are typically socialised to include, to think about other people and to take care of them. This is also relevant when creating the mix, ensuring every detail is captured.”


Psychological horror for theatrical release

After witnessing a traumatic incident, a female doctor confronts a troubling situation from her past to escape an overwhelming terror which came into her life. Our team in Spain created the Castilian Spanish dub for this nail-biting film. With a strong female character at the heart of this project, Sara González worked as the sound engineer, as well as contributing to the mix for this compelling title with a dominant female lead. “I'm always focused on the quality of the recording. With this project, it also made a difference to be involved in the wider technical process such as editing and mixing,” she explains. She believes women now rising to senior roles in audio “can lead the way for future female generations, being a reference to learn from as I learnt from my colleagues.”

Diversity enhances the viewer experience

Representation truly matters at every stage of production. From scriptwriting to localisation, studios are casting more female leads, reimagining stories and adding diversity to the characters. And one thing is clear. There is increasing space for women in both the entertainment and localisation industries. Diverse teams are crucial to ensuring viewers’ experiences and attitudes are faithfully reflected on screen. For us, it’s straightforward. Empowering female employees and increasing gender diversity increases our overall representation and understanding, and leads, ultimately, to better localisation for global audiences.