Asians and Asian Americans make up 27% of the workforce but only hold 13% of executive jobs in tech companies
Silicon Valley is failing to promote enough Asian Americans to executive positions.
According to New Republic, although Asians and Asian Americans are well-represented in junior level positions in Silicon Valley, many are unable to climb up the corporate ladder.
Equal Employment Opportunity data taken from 2007 to 2015 shows that caucasian employees are twice as likely as Asians to be promoted to executive positions and hold three times the number of higher ranking jobs.
In 2013, Google, Intel, Yahoo, Hewlett Packard and LinkedIn had 27& of their workforce comprising of Asians and Asian Americans but only 13% in executive jobs.
Towards the end of last year it was revealed that Asian Americans were underrepresented at executive level in finance despite enjoying higher employment rates. Asian Americans represented less than 15% of upper management at four of the biggest U.S. banks.
New Republic suggests that Asians and Asian Americans are subjected to racial discrimination in the industry whilst white Americans “retain an entrenched advantage”.
A Taiwanese-American named Jennifer who worked in several startups said, “Asians tend to be left out of diversity conversations. Companies will ask themselves if they have enough women, black, or Latino workers and they forget that Asians should be represented”.
“There are a lot of leadership positions, whether for executives, management, or lead technical roles, that are based on someone within the organization thinking, ‘Oh, we need someone to run this team, who do I think would be a good candidate?’” she added. “And then they mentally conjure up an image of someone who tends to be white, male, and confident.”
“We’re in this weird position of being privileged,” said Neil, a Chinese-American engineer. “So, obviously, we should be allies and supportive of other groups. But often I find that we’re stuck in between.”
A Chinese-American engineer named John said that Asian males are stigmatised in the industry, “If you mention, say, ‘Asian male’ as one sort of group, there are immediate assumptions of the personality and characteristics of that person before you’ve really gotten to know them. You always feel like you’re working from that stereotype.”