In recent years, the technological industry has seen notable changes when it comes to women’s representation and opportunities. While women continue to be underrepresented in certain leadership and technical roles, there is no denying the growing recognition of the need for gender diversity and efforts to address the gender imbalance.
Mercè Delgado Barrera is proudly part of this uprising of female role models and leaders, breaking down barriers and empowering other women to pursue careers in technology – and to be leaders. So, we are excited to have sat down for a chat with Mercè herself to learn more about her trailblazing career and her exciting company, WitSound Technologies.
Mercè Delgado Barrera is co-founder, CEO, and CFO of WitSound Technologies, a start-up created in June 2021 with the mission of gathering deep data and using IA (machine learning) to create streamlined processes for the audio sector. It all began with a project called WitScript, which we ask Mercè to tell us about.
“WitScript, thanks to our advanced AI and deep learning models, helps teams to be faster in their voice over QA/QC processes for dubbing audiobooks, films, animation, TV, series, commercials, or any other voice audio media content,” she explains. “WitScript is the software that helps increase the quality into companies’ internal QA/QC voice over processes. Our latest version, with editing capabilities, supports all script formats, and as reported, is 80% faster than the manual processes.”
Due to WitSound Technologies’ proprietary deep learning models, WitScript automatically highlights the differences between the original script and the audio file recorded. WitScript supports 19 languages and, of course, it is under the TPN Certificate, which is a must in the dubbing sector. Making use of this extraordinary technology are the biggest producer companies, dubbing studios, audiobook companies, video games studios, and e-learning companies, to name but a few.
Mercè goes on to give us a further understanding of her role at WitSound Technologies. “My role at WitSound Technologies is co-founder, CEO, and CFO. Today, I feel like an orchestra woman with a lot of hats, but in a start-up company, it is mandatory to have more than one hat after the first five years,” she laughs. “I manage the business strategies, business development, financial area, fundraising investment, and maintain key business relationships with different investors and companies located all over the world, and, most importantly, I manage the team.”
With over 20 years of diverse experience in business and entrepreneurship under her belt, this covers strategic advisory, business development, and digital expertise, as well as fundraising for organisations from multinational companies to start-ups. Mercè has held many roles ranging from CEO to CFO to entrepreneur and business advisor in various industries such as technological, gaming, audio, entertainment, and sports, among others.
She tells us, “I’m a professional focused on results and people. I’m a businesswoman, dynamic with clear ideas, negotiation, leadership, and social skills, and a great ability to work in teams. I want to contribute to changing people’s lives by enabling them to have an impact, to make a difference, and to move the world forward together.
“The key to my leadership is to take care of employees through my commitment to their development. I am a business-crazy woman that wants to help change the business world!”
Mercè’s road to getting to where she is today hasn’t been easy, though. As a businesswoman in the tech industry, one of her major challenges has been debunking the stereotype that this sector is exclusively for men. She states, “It is crucial to emphasise that gender does not determine one’s competence or professionalism. Over the years, I have witnessed positive changes in the roles of women within the industry, however, two decades ago, the landscape was different, and I encountered a unique set of challenges.”
She continues, “Throughout my professional journey, my primary challenge has been to consistently demonstrate my abilities and showcase my strong skills in the business world. I believe this is a universal challenge faced by many professionals, regardless of their gender. It has required me to prove myself repeatedly, earning the respect and recognition I deserve in a highly competitive environment.”
“With perseverance and dedication, I have strived to break through the barriers and stereotypes that may exist. By consistently delivering excellent results, staying up-to-date with industry advancements, and engaging in continuous learning, I have aimed to establish myself as a top-notch professional.
“Without a doubt, my biggest achievement in my career is gaining the professional respect of the market. I have grown day by day in my professional role, and today, I enjoy the market recognition. I can proudly say that I am referent in the business world, and I am very proud of it.”
In the corporate world, women do continue to encounter obstacles such as unconscious bias, limited access to venture capital funding for start-ups, and a lack of representation in leadership positions. These factors can make it harder for women to enter and advance within the tech industry in particular.
However, things have changed a lot since Mercè first began her career. She has observed how many firms within the tech industry now have established programmes to attract and retain women, providing mentorship, networking opportunities, and professional development support. Companies are also focusing on creating inclusive work environments that value diverse perspectives and combat gender biases.
“It’s important to note that while progress has been made, there is still work to be done to ensure equal opportunities and representation for women in the technological industry,” says Mercè. “Continued efforts to challenge biases, address systemic barriers, and provide support and mentorship will be crucial in driving further change.”
So, what are Mercè’s tips for going far in this industry?
She shares, “I can say that building a strong professional network is essential for career advancement. Connect with colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals who can offer guidance, support, and opportunities.”
“Believe in your abilities and be confident in expressing your ideas and opinions. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Success often involves facing setbacks and overcoming obstacles. Develop resilience, learn from failures, and maintain a positive attitude even in difficult times.”
Mercè does serve as an outstanding role model for aspiring women, and she offers her mentorship to them. She’s keen to share her experiences, provide guidance, and offer advice to help them navigate their career paths. Here, she brings networking into the mix, introducing women or individuals from underrepresented groups to valuable contacts and professional networks. She helps them to expand their connections and create opportunities for collaboration and growth. She encourages those who are facing disadvantages to advocate for themselves and their achievements, to help them build confidence, develop negotiation skills, and promote their unique strengths and contributions.
We’re feeling very inspired indeed after speaking to Mercè, and it’s become very clear how she has achieved such extraordinary success both in her career and within the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023, between her devotion towards her work and her incredible impact on the tech industry. Thus, the bright future ahead of Mercè and WitSound Technologies is inevitable. Mercè tells us what that looks like.
“The future of WitSound Technologies is to become the leading authority in AI-driven automation for audio QA/QC processes. While we are already recognised as a reference in this field, my ultimate vision for WitSound Technologies is to be the go-to company for any organisation seeking quality control or assurance in their audio processes.”
“I aspire for WitSound Technologies to be mentioned in the same breath as industry giants like Apple, Google, or Amazon. I want our company to make a significant contribution to helping businesses enhance their QA/QC audio processes and elevate their overall audio quality.”
In 2023, the focus at WitSound Technologies is to consolidate WitScript, which has already gained recognition in the industry. Additionally, Mercè and the company are thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of the new product, WitEdit, in the final quarter of the year. WitEdit will offer cutting-edge features and capabilities to further streamline and enhance audio quality control and assurance.
Furthermore, Mercè is delighted to have secured amazing partnerships, one of them being a renowned organisation in the audio sector, further solidifying WitSound Technologies’ position as a trusted and respected player in the industry. Through these partnerships, the company’s commitment is to bring the most advanced technology, expertise, and innovation to its clients, empowering them to achieve the highest standards in audio quality.
“We aim to revolutionise the industry, setting new benchmarks and exceeding expectations. Together with our dedicated team, I am confident that WitSound Technologies will continue to thrive and reshape the future of audio QA/QC processes, establishing ourselves as a leading force in the industry.”
Now, Mercè wishes to end with a few words of gratitude.
“I just want to give a huge shoutout and express limitless thanks to the amazing team of WitSound Technologies.
“I also want to give a special thanks to Mario Crespo, the co-founder and CPO of WitSound Technologies. Mario has been my partner in crime from day one. He believed in me and trusted me with this wild venture. Big props to Marc Domenech, our CTO and the director of our amazing team.
“To my sisters, nephew, and brother-in-law, you guys have been my rocks. Your unwavering support and belief in me, even during the toughest times, have given me strength. I can’t thank you enough for always having my back.
“And, of course, a special shoutout to my partner. You’ve been my rock throughout this entire journey. Your understanding and unwavering support have kept me going. I’m lucky to have you by my side.
“Last but not least, I want to pay tribute to my incredible Mama, who’s here with me, and my Papa, who’s watching over the sky. Their unwavering belief in me has been the driving force behind my achievements. Mama, Papa, I’m so proud to be your child, and I’m forever grateful for your love and support.
“To everyone who has contributed to my journey and believed in my dreams, I want to say a massive thank you!”
For further information, please contact Mercè Delgado Barrera or visit www.witsoundtechnologies.com