HomeBad Ass AsiansWashington Post: "The Partner Track" explores the bamboo ceiling in corporate America

Washington Post: “The Partner Track” explores the bamboo ceiling in corporate America

The Partner TrackToday, Asian Americans are among America’s highest-earning and best-educated workers and yet they occupy less than three percent of the top management positions at Fortune 500 companies. Asian Americans have been labeled the ‘model minority,’ and yet Korean Americans, Vietnamese Americans and Chinese Americans experience higher than average rates of poverty.

These inconsistencies and themes are brought to mind when reading The Partner Track, a new novel by author and lawyer Helen Wan that explores the tensions Asian Americans face in the corporate world. The novel follows Ingrid, an American-born Chinese woman, as she navigates the top echelons of the law firm she works at to become the firm’s first minority, female partner.

One stereotype examined in the novel is the presumption that all Asian Americans are hard-working, quiet professionals who would rather follow than take the lead.

“Subconsciously, there is still a perception that the Asian American in the room is really smart, is a really hard worker and sometimes even is a good people person but — this is a big ‘but’ — is probably a better sort of technical or behind-the-scenes thinker and not a leader,” said Wan to the Washington Post.

The Partner Track has clearly touched a nerve among Asian American professionals across the country. The book has been sent back for a second printing after an initial run of 50,000 copies and described as suspenseful, engaging and realistic by the Wall Street Journal.

To learn more about Helen Wan and her views on the bamboo ceiling in the work force, read the article at the Washington Post.

Photo: www.helenwan.com



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