Over the past decade, there has been a push to celebrate women and their achievements on International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8 every year. However, the origins of International Women’s Day date back way earlier, right to the early 20thCentury, and stem from labour and socialist movements.
Why, though, are we limited to officially celebrating women on only one day of the year? I can think of dozens of women whom I personally believe deserve to be recognized every day of the year, every year. But this post is not to delve into my personal beliefs; this post is to recognize women in the language industry, and those specifically at MCIS, who make the world a better place and strive for success in everything they do while lifting others as they go.
The languages services industry is brimming with talented women; this is no secret. They are present at every organization level of every organization: from CEOs and Executive Directors to Department Leads and Office Managers. Let me tell you this: they are brilliant.
At the helm of MCIS is Latha Sukumar, a remarkable woman with an even more remarkable career. Immigrating to Canada from India in her 20s, Latha is a trained lawyer and has been MCIS’ Executive Director for more than 20 years. Her community involvement is unparalleled. She’s an advocate for those who don’t have a voice and has participated in and been involved with more boards and committees than one can count on two hands and two feet over the course of her career. Over the course of her career, she’s also been recognized for her work advancing equality rights for women and promoting women’s empowerment. Latha was also the recipient of the Social Change award at the 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. While these accolades are all and well, they don’t even begin to hold a candle to all the work that Latha does behind the scenes at MCIS and elsewhere. She’s a friend to all staff, regardless of whether they just started or have been at MCIS for years and years, and leads yoga and meditation sessions for anyone who wishes to attend. Honestly, I’m not sure she even sleeps. She does all of the above with a smile on her face and without ever complaining.
There are other women, too, at MCIS who accomplish unreal things, and this before the pandemic even started. Did you know that over 70% of MCIS’ staff members are women? They are mothers juggling full-time work while working from home, while their children do their school online from home, and cabin fever takes hold as they long for the freedom of running around outside with their friends. They are women who have gone through extraordinary health challenges, yet still show up for work every day. They are women who will send you a WhatsApp message with a funny GIF when they know you’re down. They are the women that you want by your side, carrying you through this unprecedented new way of life. They’re supportive, caring, hardworking, and the best colleagues I’ve ever worked with. To describe these women as extraordinary is an understatement. They are at all levels of MCIS, and they are unicorns.
So, instead of having just one “International Women’s Day” a year, let’s celebrate women, all women, every day of the year because they deserve it. We deserve it.