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Racism Review: How stereotypes hurt Asian Americans in the work place

Corporate board roomThere’s little room for argument that Asian Americans have had difficulties rising into the ranks of the executive chair and corporate board rooms.

Despite the success Asian Americans have attained in education, just 1.5 percent of college presidents are currently Asian American compared to 3.4 percent who are Hispanic and 5.9 percent who are African American. That of course is just one field of countless others where Asian Americans are bumping up into the bamboo ceiling.

The Racism Review looked at some of the reasons behind this.

Dr. Santa Ono, president at the University of Cincinnati suggests two major factors.

Cultural factors  that value  indirect communication, emotional restraint, and an egalitarian view of power may ultimately hurt Asian Americans in the work place where white values dominate.

Oddly enough, she says  contradictory perceptions of Asian Americans also play a role.  Are Asian Americans hyper ambitious or timid? Do they stick out or do they hide in the background?

Frank Wu, Chancellor at UC Hastings College of the Law agrees that stereotypes are hurting Asian Americans chances for advancement.

He points to the perception that Asian Americans are the model minority. Intelligence is seen as being nerdy. Family values are seen as cliquish.

Being a hard worker is seen as being ultra-competitive.

You can read about a study into these issues at the University of Toronto in the Racism Review.






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