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Research conducted on the Pan-Asian demographics portrays the Asian community as the “model minority.” Is this fact or fiction? Are there facts that dispel the myths of Asians being the model minority? Ascend conducted extensive research into the realities of the model minority and found that despite their strong work ethic, academic achievement, and extensive contributions to business, few Pan-Asians have obtained senior leadership positions in global corporations.1 In fact, we call this “the curse of the model minority.” We have collected statistics and interviewed numerous Pan-Asian executives on why this phenomenon exists.2

What can we do?

This session will examine common misconceptions about Pan-Asians and why so few Pan-Asians in global corporations reach the senior level. Given the number of corporate CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, or Senior VPs, there are proportionally far fewer Pan-Asians in these positions thus raising the question, “what is preventing Pan-Asians from achieving positions in the C-Suite?”

Discussions around the “Myths of Asian Leadership” will focus on:

  • Where are the Pan-Asians? Are they represented throughout the leadership teams of global corporations? Data from our research will be presented.
  • Why are there so few Pan-Asians? Are there cultural implications that affect their aspirations?
  • What is the framework for success? What skills and behaviors will help in overcoming these barriers, myths or excuses?

  • During this session, we will provide examples of the behaviors and skills needed by Pan-Asians to help them achieve their career aspirations, reasons why a diverse senior leadership team is good for business, and our leadership framework for corporate success.

    Outcomes from the session

  • Identification of the top “Myths of Asian Leadership”
  • Understanding and enlightenment of the “Myths” – are they real or not?
  • Learn what Pan-Asians can do to overcome these myths, limitations or excuses

  • This 2-hour interactive session benefits corporations that are commited to helping Pan-Asians realize their potential. The “Myths of Asian Leadership” program provides an introduction to the Executive Insight Series™ (EIS) program where these concepts will be further explored.

    1 Buck Gee and Wes Hom, “The Failure of Asian Success in the Bay Area: Asians as Corporate Executive Leaders,” Corporate Executive Initiative, March 28, 2009;

    2 Buck Gee, “New York Metro Area Corporate Census: Asian American Executives,” Corporate Executive Initiative, August 15, 2009, 5.

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