DiversityInc published an articled entitled 7 Things NEVER to Say to Asian-American Executives but I feel like most of these are things that people shouldn’t say to any Asian American, regardless of whether or not they are “executives.”
The list includes one of the “most dreaded questions” (according to 8Asians) and also explains why these questions could be potentially offensive:
- “You must be the IT person.”
- “You aren’t like them” or “You don’t act very Asian.”
- “Asian Americans are not risk takers.”
- “Where are you from? No, where are you really from?” or “When are you going to go home?” or “How often do you go home?”
- “Oh, you speak English good!” or “Do you speak your language?”
- “You’re not a minority because all Asians are rich and successful.”
- “You’re not Asian, you’re from India.”
Maybe we should be happy that “How do you pronounce your name?” didn’t make it on the list. But then again, in many business settings, given that professionals first make contact via email/in writing, “How do you pronounce your name?” is not necessarily an impolite question, no matter what ethnicity one is.
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