Madison, Wis. September 16th, 2019, Chantel Soumis, born in Madison and residing in Waunakee, Wisconsin has been nominated as a Woman of Inspiration through the Canadian Business Chicks (CBC). CBC has been acknowledging and rewarding women in Canada for pushing diversity and empowerment forward since 2014. Chantel Soumis is a non-resident of Canada in the running for an award in her efforts to push diversity and inclusion forward—for the highly talented and underrepresented differently-abled community.
Chantel is known for her bubbly attitude of gratitude in the face of adversity as a warrior in mental health and disability. Chantel battled neurological deterioration at age 25 with an onset of Multiple Sclerosis, associated symptoms, and severe medicinal side effects, forcing her to proceed in the application process as a newly disabled applicant. After experiencing the extremely flawed application process, ongoing unconscious bias to the disabled community, and a lack of support, she was driven to change the world to promote awareness and accessibility to the differently-abled community.
“It wasn’t just the world of fully-abled leadership that was the issue, even my online MS support community told me to give up on my search for a career and that nobody was going to want me. It left the heaviest rock in my gut realizing this was the perspective I was going to spend the rest of my life battling, so I needed to do something about it,” said Chantel Soumis.
As a lifelong Girl Scout, Chantel was raised on philanthropic values and a give-first mentality. Within just one year of raising her voice for the differently-abled community on the popular job search and career networking platform, LinkedIn, with viral posts and a growing community of over 35,000. She has spoken internationally on personal branding, invisible disability and building inclusive cultures to obtain top talent without the restrictive boundaries of unconscious bias.
Chantel will attend the Women of Inspiration event on October 9th in Toronto, Ontario Canada to celebrate other women of inspiration and, hopefully, bring an award home on behalf of the United States. This nomination comes in a timely fashion as October is National Disability Awareness Month in which we should all bring unconscious bias to the forefront of our minds when working with teams and hiring new talent.