Research shows detrimental effects of the model minority myth stereotype on the experience of AAPI members at school and in the workforce. However, the critical intersection of race and ethnicity with gender is often overlooked or missing in the analysis.
While barriers to AAPI advancement are well documented, leading to the popularly used term “bamboo ceiling,” a deeper look at the experiences of AAPI women reveals that sexism complicates their leadership trajectories. The 2018 Ascend Report looks at executive representation, with the idea that the proportion of each race and gender in executive jobs is similar to racial and gender diversity in its professional workforce, in a measure they call the Executive Parity Index, or EPI. In 2018, Asian women had the lowest EPI; in other words, the lowest parity of all groups. Thus Asian women are the least likely to get promoted of any group.
Denise Peck, a former Cisco executive, turns insights into actions. In 2015, Peck co-authored the Ascend report: “The Illusion of Asian Success” that found there were no significant shifts in upward mobility for minorities in the tech sector between 2007 and 2015. She then co-developed a course for mid-level Asian women professionals and another for millennials early in their careers. As was captured in an interview about Peck, “It has come to a time where minorities are standing up and speaking up, and Denise is at the forefront of that.” Read Denise Peck’s story.
Submitted by Melissa Abad and Eunice Jung