Harsh Fact: Asian Americans, compared with all - 80

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Asian Americans In Corporate America:
Some Questions & Challenges
ECC Brown Bag
Jim Kelly
Senior Vice President, TDBU
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Topics
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Defining Diversity
Statistics on Asian Americans
Stereotypes of Asian Americans
Working the Issue from All Sides
Emerging Resources
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What is Diversity –
Why Do We Want It?
Definition of Diverse:
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1 : Differing from one another : unlike <people with diverse interests>
2 : Composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities <a diverse population>
Synonyms: see different
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We often mistake diversity for equality, equal
opportunity -- or even sameness!
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Why is diversity such a good thing for our
Company?
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Harsh Fact: Asian Americans, compared with all other groups,
are less likely to rise to management levels
Comparison of Minority Groups vs. National Average on %
Chance to Rise to Management level
120
111%
National Average
100
80
% Chance as
compared to National
Average
60
74%
67%
65%
55%
40
20
0
Source: EEOC 2003
Female
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Minority Groups
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Harsh Fact: Despite high academic achievement and
qualifications, Asian Americans’ career and leadership
attainment declines after graduation1
Point of Demarcation
Educational Career/Leadership
Trend Trend
Mainstream
Asian
Illustrative
Achievement
Time
1Source:
Cabezas & Kawaguch, 1988; Chen, 2004; Committee 100, 2005; Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995; Kuo, 1979;
Landau, 1995; Oyserman & Sakamoto, 1997; Schmid & Nobe, 1965; Tang, 1993; U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1988, 1992;
Wong, 1982; Woo, 2001
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Harsh Fact: Asian Americans have lower leadership
aspiration and confidence in their leadership abilities
than Caucasian Americans
Source: Dr. Sy Research
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Harsh Fact: Asian Americans are less likely to be
perceived as prototypical leaders
Source: Dr. Sy Research
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NY Times: Report Takes Aim at ‘Model Minority’
Stereotype of Asian-American Students
The image of AAs as a homogeneous group of high achievers taking over the
campuses of the nation’s most selective colleges came under assault in a
report issued by New York University, the College Board and a commission of
mostly AA educators and community leaders.
Report found:
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Contrary to stereotype, most of the bachelor’s degrees that AAs received in
2003 were in business, management, social sciences or humanities, not in
the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering or math.
The report quotes the opening to W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1903 classic “The
Souls of Black Folk” — “How does it feel to be a problem?” — and
says that for AAs, seen as the “good minority that seeks advancement
through quiet diligence in study and work and by not making waves,”
the question is, “How does it feel to be a solution?”
The under-representation of Asian-Americans in administrative jobs at
colleges. Only 33 of the nation’s college presidents, fewer than 1% are AAs.
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What Are Some American
Stereotypes About Asians?
AA Attribute
Perception/Outcome
“Model Minority”
Ignored Group
Strong work ethic
“Keep your head down and don’t complain”
Highly educated
“Can make their own way”
Quantitative/Detailed
“Can’t think strategically or creatively”
Quiet
Afraid
Respectful
Timid
Team Players
Followers, not leader
Thoughtful Voice
Indecisive
Others…
……
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Some Questions…
Why do Asian Americans have lower
leadership aspirations and less confidence in
their leadership abilities?
Why are Asian Americans not perceived as
prototypical leaders?
What can be done to address these issues?
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Working the Issues from Both Ends…
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Corporate executives must be sensitized to AA issues,
culture and untapped potential
“Model Minority” must not be the “Ignored Group”
Leadership pipeline must contain AAs…or corporations
will not have AA leaders!
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AAs must take personal and collective affirmative steps
to highlight their issues and develop leadership skills
necessary to break through stereotypes
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Supportive resources must be developed, recognized
and seized
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Resources Are Emerging…
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AAPA – Asian American Professional Association
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LEAP - Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics
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Ascend (leadership development conference)
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Apex (Asian Professional Exchange)
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National Association of Asian American Professionals
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Asian Women in Business
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Stanford Graduate School Advanced Leadership
Program for Emerging Asian American Executives
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Asia Society
All and others can be found on the internet!
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