Go up the senior management ladder at any large corporate company – to the directors, the VPs, the SVPs, the C-Suite – how many Asian faces do you see?
Asian American representation in corporate leadership is an issue that has been discussed for over a decade. In 2005, Jane Hyun coined the term “bamboo ceiling” in her book, Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians. In 2011, a study showed that Asian Americans accounted for only 1.9 percent of corporate officers. And in 2018, Harvard Business Review published an article claiming that Asian Americans are the least likely group to be promoted to management positions in US companies. So what does it take to get promoted? What are the necessary skills to not only secure a job, but to progress a budding career? How do cultural beliefs and background affect these skills?
Last week, we sat down with Jerry Lee, a Senior Strategy & Operations Manager at Google, and discussed these topics on an episode of our podcast. Jerry is also a vocal mentor on both LinkedIn (where he has close to 10,000 followers) and Subtle Asian Networking, a Facebook group that consists of over 37,000 young Asian professionals. You can listen to the episode (#14) on our website, or any of your preferred platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and more.
Here are some highlights of our conversation.
Jerry is an active mentor on LinkedIn and within Facebook’s Subtle Asian Networking group