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The Other Side

Ascend Leadership

Ascend Leadership is the largest Pan-Asian business professional membership organization in North America. Their mission is to drive workplace and societal impact by developing and elevating all AAPI business leaders and empowering them to become catalysts for change.

We’re facing a problem around lack of believability around AAPI discrimination. AAPI professionals face nuanced, subtle microaggressions that often disguise themselves as innocent questions or throwaway comments. Over 30% of AAPIs report workplace discrimination – the highest percentage among all ethnic groups – the vast majority of people of other races say discrimination against Asians do not exist. As a result, they choose to stay silent. And for the longest time, Asian-Americans have felt like they can achieve the American dream as long as they shut up and aren’t seen.

There are two sides to being an Asian in the workplace. On one Side, AAPI professionals seem well-represented. They’re highly employed and are high earners. But on the Other Side, long-held bias toward their community makes them less likely to be promoted to leadership levels. We’ll raise awareness by shining a light on The Other Side and help spark change in corporate America. 


The self we share with our community on LinkedIn is controlled and curated. We broadcast our successes and accomplishments revealing just one more polished side of a what is a very personal story: our professional experience.

To raise awareness for the barriers experienced by AAPI professionals and the model minority myth, we partnered with influential AAPI executives who shared personal “other side stories” with their large organic networks on LinkedIn by changing their LinkedIn headline to the below options: 

          • Least likely to be promoted to C-Suite
          • Told I don’t act like a leader
          • Labeled as “the technical one”
          • Not heard in the workplace
          • Reduced to the “model minority”
          • Struggle to ask for what I deserve


We created a toolkit on the website for people to download.

Download the Toolkit here