If you’ve watched the PSA sketch video series, “Safety First, Safety Always,” and “Environmental Stewardship” on the UAA’s YouTube Channel, you should know that these Spanish playlists exists thanks to the volunteer work of Mariana Rodriguez.
Two years ago, Mariana was approached by Nick Fox, Vice President of Operations at Wright Tree Service. He asked if she’d be interested in a meet and greet with UAA’s Executive Director Dennis Fallon.
“We had our first meeting and talked a lot about my experience working in the industry, the initiatives I was already a part of with Wright Service Corp. (WSC) and the possibility of translating from English to Spanish for the UAA,” she recalls. “A couple of months later, I was contacted with the first translation request and the rest was history.”
Mariana is a Contract Administration Project Manager for WSC and says safety is always at the forefront of her efforts, both at work and in her personal life, so the PSA safety series was a natural fit.
“The initiative of translating these series of videos to Spanish is amazing. It shows the UAA’s commitment to the development of our workforce, and to safety,” she adds. “By creating this series, the UAA is reaching a big percentage of Spanish speaking individuals that are already part of our industry or interested in becoming a part of it.
“It’s imperative that we reach every single individual within our industry, in a language they can understand and feel comfortable with, reflecting the same level of quality and professionalism of English communications.”
With more than a handful of videos to her credit, Mariana shares her preparation and process for translating the language.
“It greatly depends on the length of the video. I usually get the video transcript in English, and I rely heavily on the ISA dictionary. However, I also use my own ‘style guide’ where I have the translation of industry specific terms that have been discussed at length with fellow industry workers, who have spent most of their time in the field, which is where our final consumers are.”
Mariana has been a UAA member since 2020, when she started working closely with the operations team and the contract administration department. She says that the UAA is great place to connect, inform and educate yourself. She’s a big fan of the UAA Newsline, collaborating with the publication for the March/April 2022 “Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” issue. She submitted an article about her personal experience as a minority working in the UVM industry.
“I credit the acceptance of my article and the edition itself to the UAA’s efforts to expand their reach and attract more females and Hispanics into our industry. Diversity to me translates to better solutions and better ideas. We all come from different backgrounds, each of us bringing different concerns, points of view, types of feedback, skills, abilities, perspectives, and opinions. And this is what will lead our industry towards innovation and growth.”
Mariana is grateful for the amazing mentors who have guided her, kept her challenged and motivated throughout her career. She’s always felt that her achievements were shared and celebrated.
“Thanks to WSC’s support, I spearheaded two major initiatives including the Translation Committee, which translates communications consumed by our employees, and the Women of Wright program with the objective to connect, educate and empower women in our family of companies. I enjoy connections. I interact with a wide range of people in my position, from executives to groundworkers, so the wealth of knowledge that comes from that is immeasurable.”
Mariana always wanted to work in the utilities industry, even when she was an electrical engineer in the automation industry in Caracas, Venezuela. With minimal opportunity to establish the career she desired in her home country, she left South America for the U.S. in 2011 to further her education and fulfill her dream.
“I’m passionate about diversity and inclusion. I encourage and challenge my colleagues to join the UAA to continue to foster a culture of safety and reliable information, to create connections with others within the industry, to learn about the latest technologies and approved methods, and to increase visibility to an industry that offers endless possibilities for career development and growth.”