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Kirsty Taylor

The recent Society for Technical Communication Elections has brought in some new leaders. Last year, Kirsty Taylor was elected as Vice President of STC and, through succession, she has moved into the position of the President, replacing Craig Baehr. 
Taylor entered into technical communication during college, after experimenting with a few fields. 
Taylor explained, “I started out at Uni doing an IT degree, but it took me a few years to realize my skills were in (human) language, not computer languages and writing code. So I changed to an Arts degree in Linguistics and Business German. During my Arts degree, I somehow found out about technical writing, and decided I could mix together my IT capabilities and communication skills for a career,”
Taylor said she met a man in an IRC chat room who owned a small software company that created insurance software. She said he offered her a week of work experience which focused on software documentation.
“I was hooked!” Taylor said. She added she enjoys understanding and explaining complex things, and enjoyed working with many different people and teams.
Taylor said after graduation she found her first technical writing at a company creating telecommunication software for the Internet Protocol layers.
Taylor says she has been in this field for twenty years and has occupied several roles. She said she started as a technical writer and a technical editor. She said she has been a project manager and a team leader. For the last decade, her roles have been mainly Content and Internationalization Management. Additionally, she says she works with a team of technical communicators and manages product and content translations.
Taylor said she enjoys several things about this career. She says she enjoys working on translation and internationalization of software products, where she can apply her communication skills. She says she enjoys working with the company's development teams, learning about the company's projects, and being able to work in different areas.
Taylor said, finally, “I really enjoy the community and professional and personal friendships I’ve made with technical communicators around the world. Technical communicators are a cool group of people!”
Taylor explained she joined STC in her first few years as a technical writer. She said she joined mainly for access to professional information about the field. She said, at the time, Australia, where she currently lives, had no local chapters. She said her interest in STC has grown to where she likes and appreciates the community and conferences, as well. She said since 2002, she has attended most Summits. She said she looks forward to the days of education sessions, the hallway track, and seeing her STC colleagues and friends.
Taylor said she served as Secretary on the STC Board of Directors from 2016-2020. She says she will step into the Presidency until the 2021 Annual Business Meeting.
As Vice President, Taylor said she had a part in STC's work toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She said the work has just begun and her work on this has been influenced by her own experience. She says she has had very diverse groups of coworkers and hopes STC will continue to evolve to include a full range of technical communicators.
Taylor added, “I recognize for some people, diversity, and representation are very important, and for others, these topics may be seen as private matters that don’t correlate to a professional context. I hope that STC is, and will be, a group where we share our professional knowledge and skills, and we all feel comfortable to be our whole selves as we participate in STC and its events.”
Taylor said she is looking forward to continuing to serve STC and carry an institutional understanding of the challenges and opportunities the Board has been dealing with these past few years.
Taylor says, “Every role on the Board is important, and every role has the potential to bring wonderful change to STC.” She added, “ I just hope to continue to serve STC and our members as best I can, bringing hopefully a different viewpoint and voice to those on the Board.”
Taylor says she is hoping 2022 will allow STC to meet again, in person at the Summit. 
Taylor says, she wants to continue with diversity initiatives, trying new things, and creating a virtual community in Slack. She said this is particularly helpful for members who have no local chapters or are in time zones or who face other challenges.
Taylor says, “I’d summarize my focus as three Cs – consolidation, community, and change.”

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