Why aren’t more Asians getting to the top at U.S. companies?
They ought to be: They’re highly educated, graduating from top universities and graduate programs at rates exceeding those of their peers. They’re also extremely ambitious, with 64% of Asians aspiring to top jobs, compared to only 52% of Caucasians, according to new research from the Center for Work-Life Policy.
But the answer isn’t just to “fix the Asians.” Smart companies need to look for other solutions that teach their non-Asian managers to recognize the richness they can contribute.
Goldman Sachs, for example, realized this. “It was not enough to offer leadership training to East Asians,” says Gail Fierstein, Global Head of Human Capital Management for the Federation and Revenue Divisions. “We had to raise awareness and educate a wider audience, including managers across the firm.” In response, they’ve created the upcoming program Voices from East Asia: Redefining Global Leadership, which utilizes an interactive forum to educate managers about the wide spectrum of Asian professionals working at the firm and increase their awareness of the diversity across Asian cultures. By exploring how cultural values impact the workplace and gaining a better understanding of the workplace experience of their East Asian colleagues, participants expand their perceptions of effective leadership and communication, and learn best practices to maximize the potential of global talent.
This is the right approach: work with both Asians and Whites to address the issue