Asian Women Least Likely to Hold Top Jobs

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Asian Women Least Likely to Hold Top Jobs


Asian American women are least likely of all women of color to hold jobs with line or supervisory responsibilities, or to be in positions within three levels of the CEO, according to Catalyst. This finding flies in the face of Asian women's higher-than-average levels of education.

Asian women's experiences in corporate America and their attitudes about their work seem to depend largely on their levels of acculturation. Catalyst identifies two groups of Asian American women, based on acculturation:

More Acculturated women, who were either born in the U.S. or immigrated in childhood and speak English at home, and Less Acculturated women, who immigrated as teenagers and speak a language other than English at home.

More Acculturated women are

* more likely to feel satisfied and successful in their careers;

* more likely to be satisfied with their pay;

* more likely to feel that diversity efforts create a climate that is supportive to Asian women; and

* less likely to have elder care responsibilities.

Less Acculturated women are

* more likely to make adjustments to fit in at work, and to say that their coworkers feel uncomfortable about Asians;

* more likely to feel a strong connection to their racial/ethnic group; and

* less likely to believe that diversity efforts have created a supportive climate for Asian women.

Asian women overall are less likely to have mentors (27% of Asian women do, compared to 34% of women of color overall) and more likely to say the lack of informal networks is a barrier to their advancement (50% of Asian women say so, versus 40% of all women of color). …

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Asian Women Least Likely to Hold Top Jobs
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