Millennium Post

Western IT giants keep Asians under-represented in management

Asians may be well represented in non-managerial jobs across tech majors like Google, Yahoo and Intel but are “severely under-represented” at the executive levels, a study by Ascend said on Wednesday. 

The study, based on employment data shared by Google, Intel, LinkedIn, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo, said Asians were found to be 27.2 per cent of the professional workforce. However, only 13.9 per cent of executives in the professional workforce at Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, LinkedIn, and Yahoo were Asians.

“Asian” includes any citizen or non-citizen having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian Subcontinent. “The popular news headlines that whites and Asians dominate Silicon Valley employment often overlook the fact that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data, while showing that Asian men and women are well represented in the non-managerial professional workforce, also show them to be severely under-represented at the executive levels,” the report said. Ascend Foundation is a nonprofit organisation providing analysis for addressing challenges faced by the corporate community.

Google and LinkedIn did not comment on the report. The report found that although there are nearly as many Asian professionals as white professionals in most of these five companies, white men and women are about 154 per cent more likely to be an executive compared to their Asian counterparts. “Asian women are the least represented as executives, relative to their percentage in the workforce. There are 9,254 Asian women professionals in our sample (13.5 per cent), but only 36 Asian women executives (3.1 per cent),” it said. Ascend identified three major Asian leadership gaps: a gap in awareness and expectations, a gap in role models, and a gap in behaviour.

“Although awareness and behavioural gaps are not unique to the Asian community, social science research and our personal observations find that traditional upbringing and cultural norms can hinder many in bridging those gaps.”

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