I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year like no other. The onset of a global pandemic, the economic upheaval it triggered, and the powerful anti-racism movement that took hold will shape how we live and work in the years to come.
In the face of this turmoil, Ascend Canada members have come together to strengthen the ties that bind the community and build our resilience. We shared our experiences in adjusting to a new virtual working environment, supported each other with personal and health issues and advocated for inclusion.
We understand the critical role Ascend plays in helping today’s workforce find mentors, build a professional network and develop new skills. We adapted to serve our members in the new environment through our podcast series, the first ever virtual Ascend Canada conference and virtual Ascend Café sessions, I’m so proud of how we continued to bring our members together and provide them with resources to support their professional development.
At the heart of our organization is our vision of a diverse and inclusive Canada where pan-Asian business leaders can achieve their full potential. We have an unwavering commitment to play an active role in addressing racial inequalities. And we know we are stronger when we work together – which is why we forged important partnerships with organizations like #HealthnotHate and Catalyst to promote racial awareness and help eliminate bias.
Our mission also requires each one of us make a personal effort to support and speak up for inclusion. To that end, we hosted Ascend ACT, a multi-dimensional approach on racial equity, through which we created a safe environment for members to come together to discuss race relations and the inequalities that impact us personally and in the workplace. The program equipped participants with a 5-Point Action Agenda, to help promote inclusion.
We are grateful for the support of our sponsors, who are actively engaged with us to drive positive change in our workplace and communities. This year, I was delighted to welcome new sponsors Cadillac Fairview and Bell Canada to the Ascend Canada family.
Our collective efforts in 2020 fills me with hope and optimism for the future. There’s a real sense of urgency within our membership to take action against systemic racism and increase diversity in leadership roles. And we’ve established a strong partnership with Corporate Canada in our shared focus towards these goals.
My sincere thanks to our members, sponsors, volunteers and the board for your passionate advocacy in advancing the vision and mission of Ascend Canada.
It’s been a challenging year. I hope you will all have an opportunity to take some time to relax and safely reconnect with your loved ones over the holidays.