Money & Business

Study: Asian-Americans Like Jobs, but Many Feel Left Out

By / Jun 14, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

A new report by the Asia Society found that companies looking to better engage their Asian-American employees should ensure that they feel accepted at work.

Asian-Americans working in corporate America are largely satisfied with their jobs, and they are overwhelmingly dedicated to their employers, but they often don’t feel a sense of belonging at work.

Companies need to dedicate more resources to training and grooming this high-potential group so they can effectively seize leadership opportunities as they grow into their careers.

That’s according to new research by the Asia Society, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to educate the world about Asia. As part of its fourth annual Asian Pacific Americans (APA) Corporate Survey, the organization found that 61 percent of Asian-Americans reported feeling good about job development and growth opportunities, up by four percentage points from last year.

Ninety percent of the surveyed APAs, who all work at Fortune 500 companies, also reported that they care about their company’s success. But more than 40 percent said they don’t feel a sense of belonging as an APA employee, and the number-one reported driver of workplace engagement among these respondents is cultural acceptance.

Less than half of the respondents said their companies provide them with leadership and skills-development opportunities specifically tailored to APAs.

“APAs bring with them a unique cultural heritage,” Mike Kulma, executive director of Global Leadership Initiatives at the Asia Society, said in a statement. “Companies need to dedicate more resources to training and grooming this high-potential group so they can effectively seize leadership opportunities as they grow into their careers.”

Other research, such as a study conducted and released by the Center for Talent Innovation last year, illustrates that workplace mentors can help propel minorities into leadership positions.

“Our research shows that sponsorship is an incredibly powerful booster rocket for talented people of color,” Maggie Jackson, one of the study’s authors and a senior fellow at CTI, told Associationsnow.com.

The study also found that almost half of Asian-Americans and 35 percent of African-Americans and Hispanics feel they need to compromise their “authenticity” in the workplace, which can lead to feelings of discomfort and invisibility.

“If you’re hanging back, if you’re insecure, if you’re not sure how to fit in, then you’re not being noticed, you’re not able to stick your neck out,” Jackson said.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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