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How Asian Americans should assert themselves at work

Asian Americans are often seen as a model minority who are well-educated, hard-working and successful. However, this stereotype also masks the challenges and discrimination they face in the workplace. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, Asian Americans have the lowest representation in leadership positions among all racial groups, despite having a high presence in professional fields such as technology, finance and medicine [1]. They are also less likely to be promoted to management than their white peers, and face implicit bias and stereotypes that question their leadership qualities and assertiveness [2].





So how can Asian Americans overcome these barriers and assert themselves at work? Here are some tips:


- Seek mentors and sponsors who can provide guidance, feedback and opportunities for career advancement. Look for people who share your values and goals, and who can advocate for you in the organization.

- Build your network and relationships with colleagues across different levels and functions. Communicate your achievements and aspirations, and show interest in others' work and perspectives. Be proactive in initiating conversations and collaborations, and seek feedback on your performance and potential.

- Develop your leadership skills and style. Identify your strengths and areas for improvement, and seek opportunities to demonstrate your capabilities and potential. Learn from other successful leaders, especially those who have similar backgrounds or experiences as you. Adapt your style to different situations and audiences, and be confident in expressing your opinions and ideas.

- Challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions about Asian Americans. Speak up against discrimination and bias, whether it affects you or others. Educate others about the diversity and complexity of the Asian American community, and share your personal stories and experiences. Celebrate your culture and identity, and show how they contribute to your success and value.


Sources:


[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/asian-american-workers-diverse-outcomes-and-hidden-challenges

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/company/stories/the-leadership-representation-ceiling-for-asian-americans/



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