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Meet Latha Sukumar, Executive Director of MCIS Language Solutions and 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Social Change Award Finalist

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Latha Sukumar

Executive Director, MCIS Language Solutions

Finalist, Social Change Award, CENTRAL

 

When MCIS Language Solutions was incorporated as a non-profit in 1995, its mandate was to provide interpretation services for victims of domestic violence in Scarborough. Latha Sukumar was hired as Executive Director in 1996, expanding the mission to improving access to critical information and services for all vulnerable persons who faced language barriers. Now, MCIS offers 50 different language services in over 300 languages, serving over 800 organisational clients, while sticking to its mission of improving the safety, wellbeing and security of its primary beneficiaries — vulnerable people experiencing language barriers.

 

My first job ever was… as a telemarketer.

 

I chose my career path because… I wanted to address gender inequality.

 

My proudest accomplishment is… building an organization with newcomer talent to address language access and equity issues.

 

My boldest move to date was… taking on our first large public sector project which doubled our volume and required us to ramp up service capacity overnight.

 

I surprise people when I tell them… that I love building a business as much as making a social impact – and marrying the two represents the best of all worlds for me.

 

“Show up for work every day no matter what and work towards incremental improvements, while embracing disruption.”

 

My best advice to people starting their business is… that you are in for the long haul and need to be consistent and work towards small wins to keep yourself motivated.

 

My best advice from a mentor was… to show up for work every day no matter what and work towards incremental improvements, while embracing disruption.

 

If I could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would be… George Carlin.

 

I would tell my 20-year old self… no setback is as bad as it first appears .

 

My biggest setback was… losing my father suddenly to cancer.

 

I overcame it by… practising meditation.

 

The last book I read was… Journey to Ithaca by Anita Desai.

 

I stay inspired by… reading about disruptive innovation and technology.

 

The future excites me because… there has never been a time like now when you have to keep innovating and changing, to stay ahead of the curve.

 

My next step is… to shift our organizational culture to embrace and execute MCIS’ strategy of continuous growth, influence and impact.