A new study from the Ascend Foundation finds that while American high tech firms happily employ many Asian Americans, they do not tend to promote them to positions of management. The study is titled, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Asian American Leaders in Silicon Valley.”
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The study based its findings on data filed with U.S. employment regulators by five Silicon Valley companies, Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and LinkedIn Corp in 2013.
We all know the positive stereotype in America. Sian kids are all good students who excel in METS – Math, Engineering, Tech, and Science. We see them in classrooms of top universities like MIT and Harvard. But how many of them do we see running high tech corporations.
Also, when was the last time you heard a story about the latest high tech entrepreneur who made a billion dollars and who was Asian? That is, in America and not China or Korea.
The EEOC definition, “Asian” includes any citizen or noncitizen having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent. Asians were found to be 27.2% of the professional workforce, but only 13.9% of executives in the professional workforce at the companies studied.
The study declares, “The popular news headlines that whites and Asians dominate Silicon Valley employment often overlook the fact that the EEOC data, while showing that Asian men and women are well represented in the non-managerial professional workforce.”
The report offers the following key findings:
• Although there are nearly as many Asian professionals as white professionals in most of these five companies, white men and women are ~154% 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%), but only 36 Asian women executives (3.1%).
• In the aggregate, the data reflect that white women are 16.8% of professionals, well below their numbers in the U.S. population (40%), but also suggest that they are having success at reaching executive levels in Silicon Valley–based companies. White women have an EPI nearly at parity at executive levels, relative to their representation as individual contributors.
• The “Asian effect” is 3.7X greater than the “gender effect” as a glass ceiling factor. The Asian effect was measured at ~154% for both men and women. The gender effect was measured at ~42% for both whites and Asians.
As Dennis Peck, co-author of the study told AP, “If you step in the cafeteria of any of these five companies, you will see plenty of Asian talent around. It’s only when you walk into the executive suites at these companies that you might see a problem.”
See the full report here.