FEATURE4 July 2022

Ruth Partington – Research Hero

Features People

The Market Research Society launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Ruth Partington has joined the cadre of Research Heroes 2022.



Ruth Partington founded research localisation agency Empower Translate in 1997 and has spent her career advocating for and creating better resources and support for global researchers. She bridges the gap between two key industries as a member of the MRS Accredited Company Partner Council and chair of the National Association of Translation Companies, which led to the MRS/Association of Translation Companies checklist for buying translation services.

Ruth also volunteers as a Cardiff University mentor for language students and is focusing on inclusivity and diversity in our industry through her work with the MRS Representation in Research Steering Group.

Ruth was nominated for “her late nights, long weekends and boundless passion over the past two-and-a-half decades, all of which have gone into creating a better, fairer and more accessible insight industry”.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?
Getting translation and localisation recognised as a fundamental part of successful international research, which makes up one third of all UK research. Essentially, being recognised as a core operational partner.

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?
Definitely finding the balance between automation and bespoke offerings, without impacting on quality at either end of the spectrum. I’ve noticed that we are just now reaching a certain ‘maturity’ level in the industry when it comes to technology hype, accelerate by the pandemic, which means the focus is now on innovative ways in which technology can build efficiency without compromising output. It’s no longer about tech for tech’s sake, but rather tech for the human’s sake.

Who inspires you as a researcher?
Actually, two women in our industry inspire me, almost every day. Sania Haq, head of research at AudienceNet, for her perspicacity, energy and passion in our industry. Sania inspires me through her faith in people doing the right thing once they know the ‘why’ behind it all. Her vision of inclusivity for our industry and beyond encompasses this belief, and Sania recently wrote a paper on representation in research and why it’s so important that is a must-read.

Rebecca Cole, managing director at Cobalt Sky – Rebecca’s application of her knowledge and sharp insight, coupled with her tenacity and investment in the whole research landscape, is incredibly inspirational to me. She has a holistic vision of everybody’s part to play in the industry, which moves my thinking along leaps and bounds.

View the full list of Research Heroes for 2022