Ascend Vancouver Celebrates a Decade of Community Building

Ascend Vancouver Celebrates a Decade of Community Building

“We’re all on a journey towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Kerby SitVancouver Chapter President of Ascend Canada. “Some may be more ahead than others, but we can all learn from each other. This is why Ascend’s work resonates with so many—we bring together our members and partner organizations to multiply everyone’s impact on what’s possible for the entire Pan-Asian community.”

It’s been a decade since the Vancouver chapter of Ascend was founded to enhance the presence, visibility, and influence of Pan-Asian business leaders in the Greater Vancouver area.

The chapter has grown to over 1200 members from 24 corporate partners across banking, accounting, legal, and technology sectors. Members enjoy educational and mentorship programs that support their professional growth, while providing unparalleled access to key decision makers and senior executives across a wide cross-section of industries.

“Our chapter founders wanted to provide a new platform where local Pan-Asian talent could achieve their full potential, with the ultimate goal to build a more diverse and inclusive Canada,” Kerby explains. “Ten years later, we continue to proudly deliver on this mission through programming that enables our members to rise up in their careers and support others in doing the same.”

The steady growth of the chapter to over a thousand members and the launch of two student chapters at UBC and SFU were historic milestones for Ascend Vancouver, ones that drew greater attention to their mission. As more companies reached out to become sponsors and advocates, the chapter was able to offer more high quality programs and activities. And with the pivot to virtual events during the pandemic, the team saw another opportunity for growth: Physical borders disappeared, allowing the chapter to engage a nationwide audience and attract many attendees across Canada.

“In order to achieve big goals, it’s important to see someone who looks like you also making their dreams a reality,” Kerby says. “It’s why the global Pan-Asian community was really energized by Michelle Yeoh’s recent win for Best Actress at the Oscars. In the same way, Ascend Vancouver connects members to successful Pan-Asian leaders who can help and show them it’s possible to attain their dreams.”

Looking towards the next ten years of Ascend Vancouver means reflecting on where their members will be so they can continue to serve them in purposeful and seamless ways. In a decade, today’s student members will become mid-level professionals, while those who are managers will be in executive roles.

“Ascend has a role at every career stage and we’ll continue to evolve our programs so we can meet our members’ needs throughout their professional journey,” Kerby says.

Throughout the year, there will be many exciting programs to celebrate a decade of Ascend Vancouver, including in-person events, in-depth profiles on our passionate volunteers, and more. Stay tuned for information on how to join in these celebrations!