Despite Population Growth, Asian-Americans Feel Marginalized at Work

Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai speaks to Citibank’s Ida Liu and Goldman Sachs’ Gloria W. Lio about the Asian American workforce. (Photo via World Journal)

According to World Journal, as the Asian American population in the country continues to grow, a large number of Asian Americans have felt marginalized at work. In response, the Asia Society held its 4th Annual Leadership Seminar last week to encourage them to work together in order to feel a sense of belonging. The article is translated from Chinese below.

Although the Asian-American population has increased significantly in the United States, Asian-Americans constitute less than 2 percent of all chief executive officers that work at Fortune 500 companies, according to a recent survey by the Asia Society. Furthermore, the study reveals that while 83 percent of Asian-American employees feel loyal to their company, only 49 percent of those employees feel they belong.

Earlier this month, at the Asia Society’s Diversity Leadership Forum at the Time Warner Center, several panelists explained that Asian-Americans’ sense of belonging is strongly correlated to their length of time in the country and ethnic identity. Vishakha N. Desai, president of the organization, added that the Asian-American sense of belonging in the corporate world has rarely been discussed and that all Asians should help each other, rather than limit themselves to helping those that share the same ethnic identity.

Ida Liu, head of the North America Asian Clients Group at Citibank, said that in the past 10 years, Asian-American women have felt the pressure of a “double glass ceiling” at work.  She said that women should take advantage of their emotional intelligence and make use of their listening skills. In describing her own ethnic identity, Liu said that her values are quite Asian. She said she values family, hard work and ambition. She noted, however, that she is Americanized in her conversational style at work.

Gloria W. Lio, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, encouraged Asian-Americans to participate in professional and social activities.

Jazz Tobaccowalla, a senior vice president at Pfizer, pointed out that many large companies have Asian organizations dedicated to the interests of their employees. He encouraged Asian-Americans to join and ask themselves what they can contribute to such groups, rather than think about what they can gain from joining.

The seminar also discussed Asian consumers and the challenges and opportunities that Asian-American professionals face.  The Asia Society gave awards to Cardinal Health, KPMG, New York Life Insurance, Pfizer, IBM, Goldman Sachs and Freddie Mac for training and promoting their Asian-American employees.

Edited by Justin Chan

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  1. Pingback: Feet in 2 Worlds’ News Picks, June 25, 2012 | Feet in 2 Worlds · Immigration news · Immigration reform · Immigrant communities

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