According to a study by The Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM) published here on Tuesday, nearly 60% of the Asian women employed in the financial sector in the United States consider their race and gender as hurdles to their careers, particularly at senior levels.
The so-called “bamboo ceiling” that experts say limits the growth of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) is particularly prominent for women, the poll showed, which reviewed 600 employees in investment management from a spectrum of backgrounds. The survey revealed that almost 62% of Asian American and Pacific Islander women said that race becomes a big impediment later in their careers.
Despite the pledges made by the financial industry to boost diversity, Asian women have not significantly risen in the ranks in the sector. Biases regarding gender and race together block Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women from getting promoted to executive roles, despite remaining well represented in junior and mid-level positions.
Nearly 20 million Asians live in the USA as US-born citizens, naturalized citizens, and foreign-born residents. Thirty-five percent of Asian American workers are East Asian, thirty-five are Southeast Asian, and 27 are South Asian.
Asian Americans are disproportionately overrepresented in low-paying jobs such as manicurists, skin care specialists, cooks, and sewing machine operators. At the same time, the ethnic group is also overrepresented in high-wage technical jobs like software development and computer programming. The group has the highest economic inequality, and among the foreign-born Asians who do not enjoy permanent resident status, 12 percent of men and 21 percent of women have an annual income of less than $30,000.
Asian Americans are more likely to earn a bachelor’s or higher degree than any other racial group in the United States, yet they are more likely to lose their jobs than equally educated Whites. The statistics are grimmer for Asian American women. By January 2021, a little more than 4.3 million Asian American women were employed, which was 355,000 less than at the beginning of the pandemic and 514,000 less compared to the 20-year high just over 16 months before.
The wage gap is another factor that makes it hard for Asian American women, including the 55.5 percent of Asian American mothers in the United States who are primary, sole, or co-breadwinners, to make ends meet or sustain a crisis like COVID-19. In 2019, a study by the Center for American Progress found that Asian Americans make 85 cents for every $1 made by their White and non-Hispanic male counterparts.
Since wage discrimination often leads to poverty, US Census Bureau data produced in 2019 show that 7.8 percent of Asian women were living in poverty, compared to 11.5 percent of the overall women population in the US.
Furthermore, apart from the distinctive challenges of Asian Americans at work that have been often overlooked, visible acts of violence against this racial group in the United States have also garnered headlines over the past few years. Experts believe that these acts of violence have roots in stereotypes and misconceptions that regard Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners, i.e., “outsiders”.
A rise in anti-Asian violence, including the death of Michelle Go, a Deloitte employee, in Times Square, has given rise to discussions about race in the finance industry. Go was killed in January this year, and the murder was seen as a hate-driven attack and part of the anti-Asian sentiment.
Asians are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States and are projected to represent 14 percent of the population by 2065, and it remains to be seen whether their unseen hardships in the United States will come to an end any time soon.
Leave a Reply