Statement from Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)
on Pew’s Research Study on Asian Americans
Los Angeles, CA (June 20, 2012) – LEAP is encouraged by the Pew Research Center’s first step to study the important and burgeoning Asian American community in their recent study The Rise of Asian Americans. While their research on the community paints a rosy picture, the Asian American community is not monolithic and many segments of the population, who were featured only as “other”, face a significantly more difficult climb.
The study clearly identifies the importance of job and career success to Asian Americans and that they do not believe that being Asian makes no difference to school admission or hiring and promotion decisions. Yet, for Asian Americans at the highest levels of leadership in corporate America, academia, government, nonprofits and foundations, the actual numbers paint a completely different picture.
LEAP’s own research studies, launched in 2009 to measure current Asian and Pacific Islander (API) representation at the highest levels of leadership positions in different sectors of U.S. society, found that although APIs are the fastest growing minority group and a vital part of the nation’s talent pipeline, APIs remain one of the least represented groups in leadership roles:
• In 2011, only 30 companies had API representation on their boards
• 29 API directors held 32 board seats out of 1,211 total seats
• 2 out of 100 CEOs were of API descent
Top 100 Nonprofits:
• In 2011, only 47 nonprofits had API representation on their boards
• 75 API directors held 78 board seats out of 3,051 total seats
• No API served as CEO
Top 100 Foundations:
• In 2010, only 24 Foundations had API representation on their boards
• 36 API directors held 37 board seats out of 748 total seats
• No API served as CEO
Further findings on executive suite representation will be shared by LEAP on June 27, 2012 when the sixth and newest leadership series report, API Executive Officers and Top Earners in the Fortune 500 is released.
We strongly encourage the Center to dive deeper in their future reports addressing Asian Americans and report on much needed disaggregated data research and analysis to paint a clearer and more complete picture of the vast diversity of issues affecting differently all subgroups that make up this community.
About LEAP: Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) is a national organization founded in 1982 with a mission to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) through leadership, empowerment and policy. With original programs in leadership training, public policy research and community education, LEAP raises the impact and visibility of APIs in all sectors. LEAP is headquartered in Los Angeles and has an office in Washington, DC.