4 in 5 Asian American Professionals Have Experienced Discrimination, Survey Says

Up to 4 in 5 Asian American professionals have experienced discrimination, according to a study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) released last month.

What to know: The study, which was conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics, surveyed 1,455 Asian American professionals across 22 industries between August 2020 and January 2021.

  • The respondents, “Asian American senior executives, senior managers, junior executives and entrepreneurs,” were further divided into two cohorts: (1) South Asians and (2) East and Southeast Asians.
  • At work, 50% of South Asians reported experiencing discrimination, compared to 44% of East and Southeast Asians.
  • Some 80% of East and Southeast Asians reported experiencing discrimination overall, versus 78% of South Asians.
  • Due to their identity, more than 60% of all respondents said they must work harder than non-Asian peers in order to succeed.
  • Around 74% of white respondents felt empowered and supported at work, while only 40% of Asian Americans did.

Why this matters: The findings reflect experiences of discrimination faced by the general Asian American population amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Inhi Cho Suh, general manager of strategic partnerships, IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software, said while top Asian American business leaders have spoken out and President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the study’s findings call for greater responsibility on the part of businesses.
  • The study outlined 10 actions businesses can take to improve equity and inclusion for Asian Americans in the workplace.
  • They included allyship among marginalized groups, investment in training against implicit bias and regular dialogue with Asian American employees on race, identity and microaggressions, to name a few.

Featured Image via Priscilla Du Preez

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