NEW LEAP Leadership Research Series Report on Fortune 500 Boards

A Staggering 77.8% of Fortune 500 Companies Have No Asian and Pacific Islander Representation on Their Boards

Washington, D.C., March 20, 2012 – Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) reveals the surprising results of its newest leadership series report on Asian and Pacific Islander (API) inclusion on Fortune 500 boards in 2011. The statistics shed light on the stark reality of the meager number of API leaders in the corporate world.

“Only 2.4% of the total number of board seats in the Fortune 500 is held by Asian and Pacific Islanders,” said Linda Akutagawa, LEAP’s President and CEO. “It is our hope that this issue will be critically addressed and be seen as a crucial part of understanding our country’s full potential in an increasingly globalized world.”

LEAP’s 2011 API Representation on Fortune 500 Boards marks the fifth report in the series and the third edition of research focusing on the private sector. According to LEAP’s report, only 116 APIs held 135 board seats in the Fortune 500 last year. APIs make up 6% of the total U.S. population and their purchasing power is anticipated to grow significantly by 2015.

Key Findings

* 18 API directors held titles such as president, (vice) chair and/or chief executive office of a Fortune 500 company. Of those, three were women.

* The ethnic breakdown of the API directors is as follows: Chinese (45), Asian Indian (37), Japanese (17), Korean (6), Pakistani (3), Vietnamese (3), Bangladeshi (1), Filipino (1), Malaysian (1), Singaporean (1) and Sri Lankan (1).

* Twenty-one Fortune 500 companies have two API directors on their boards: Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo, PepsiCo, Best Buy, Safeway, Cisco Systems, Morgan Stanley, Staples, Aramark, Edison International, Avon Products, Synnex, OfficeMax, AECOM Technology, Yahoo, Mattel, Targa Resources, Agilent Technologies, SunGard Data Systems, SanDisk and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

* MasterCard has four APIs on its board of directors, more than any other company in the Fortune 500.

The report provides lucid insights into the issue of the lack of API leadership within Fortune 500 companies. By providing leadership development workshops, programs and training, LEAP aims to empower API individuals to lead fully thriving and educated communities. LEAP has gained respect from many colleges, universities, community organizations, student organizations, government agencies and Fortune 1,000 companies across North America and Asia, all of whom have participated in LEAP’s programs and workshops. With the growing number of over 125,000 individuals who have been positively impacted by LEAP’s training, LEAP believes that more APIs can be proactive today and actively participate in shaping the future of the country. Click here to download Report