The ways in which Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, especially AAPI women, are affected by racial biases in the workplace are often minimized or overlooked. This is due to a variety of factors, one of which is the “monolith myth,” which obscures the diversity of the AAPI population in the United States. In addition to representing East Asian countries like China, Japan, and Korea, AAPI individuals also come from Southeast and South Asian countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan.

Another factor is the “model minority” phenomenon, a myth that assumes AAPI men and women don’t need help or support because they are stereotyped as hardworking, overachieving, and therefore “successful.” In fact, studies show an opposite reality for AAPI workers, which is especially evident at the leadership level. According to a 2020 report from Ascend, an organization that works to advance AAPI equity in the workplace, AAPIs make up 13% of the U.S. professional workforce but only 6% of executive leadership. A 2022 report from McKinsey finds that AAPIs make up 9% of SVPs and only 5% of promotions to the C-Suite. Of those C-Suite promotions, AAPI women make up less than 1%.

From these statistics, we can see a story of ambition going ignored, unsupported, and unfulfilled–something all women in business have experienced trying to advance their careers, but exponentially so for women of color, and in this case, AAPI women. That’s why it’s important to support and shine a light on the experience of our AAPI sisters, who have professional ambitions they deserve a fair and equitable chance to pursue and achieve.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of articles, reports, and more resources about the AAPI experience in the workforce, so that you can educate yourself about the unique obstacles AAPI individuals, especially women, face, and how it connects with the collective struggle and fight for workplace equity for all: