The consulting company McKinsey has released a new report highlighting both the challenges and achievements of Asian Americans in the workforce.
For one, McKinsey’s report helps to dispel the misconception of the Asian American monolith, a single group with the same challenges, goals, and identities. Instead, the report breaks down the diversity of the Asian American workforce, showing that there is much difference, including language, culture, and workforce participation, among others. For example, Asian Americans are overrepresented in both low- and high-skilled jobs and industries, such as apparel manufacturing and tech, leading to a massive income disparity, which is oftentimes obscured.
Another important finding was that while Asian Americans as a block are seen as a “model minority” in the US, they remain underrepresented in leadership roles. Instead they are stereotyped as “doers,” that is good employees in a team but not necessarily a leader of a team.
Because of the myriad stereotypes Asian Americans face, they’re workplace challenges are often obscured by these misconceptions. However, there are things that can be done, according to the McKinsey report, including continuing to collect qualitative and quantitative data on the workplace experiences of Asian Americans and supporting inclusion, especially at the leadership levels.