Can Being Asian Prevent Promotions?

employeesSo I got this email, and saw the tweet:

Being Asian can prevent you from ascending the corporate ladder. Our seminar, presented with EMC Asian Circle, can tell you what to do about it.

You’ve done all the right things, top marks from perhaps a top school and top job performance. Why haven’t you reached the top as an executive? Learn from a renowned Asian exec who has been there and done that.

Business Professor David Lum will explore the fundamental reasons for why Asians/Asian-Americans have such difficulty in reaching those coveted positions. In addition to exploring the root causes, this seminar will also give clear and practical guidance on what you can do to prepare your career now for the long-term.

I read that and thought, “Wow.”

And that was the end of it. Total jaw drop. I’m not even sure what to say to this considering some facts, but more to that in a second. Let’s backtrack a little bit: I belong to a chapter of NAAAP, the National Association of Asian American Professionals. And obviously with any business organization, there is favoritism and so on, but seriously? We’re going to play the “we don’t get promoted because we’re Asian” card?

While I don’t know where this business professor came from, he apparently used to work for the same corporation as myself, and I never saw any inkling of Asians not being able to get promoted. Perhaps we didn’t work in the same division, but I never saw it within my corporate culture at least. And in my circle of friends and family, there are people that are in middle management all the way to senior management of their respective corporations; I never heard any complaints about promotions being blocked because of being Asian.

Maybe it’s just me, but this type of promotional email doesn’t exactly make me want to hear this speaker ever. Call me crazy, but I just can’t help but shake my head with this one.

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About Ben

Ben Hwang is involved in a number of online publications and also writes at his personal blog, LUX.ET.UMBRA. When he's not in the middle of starting companies and dreaming up new ventures, he is heavily involved in local community efforts. Currently resides in North Carolina.
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