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Asian Americans are most likely to participate in employee affinity organizations, but don’t feel sufficiently supported within their companies, a new survey shows.
Research recently released by AAPI Data and polling firm Momentive revealed that despite their particularly high levels of participation in employee-led resource groups (ERGs) — twice the rate of workers overall — Asian Americans continue to feel left out of corporate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
NBC News reports the study, which examined diversity across American life, found that Asian Americans participate in employee-led groups at 16%, far exceeding the 8% of workers overall.
While more than half were motivated to do so to connect with others, 44%, said they were driven by professional growth opportunities and 39% cited the opportunity to raise awareness and inclusivity within their organization.
Asian Americans often feel “invisible” as the model minority
The model minority myth characterizes Asian Americans as a high achieving, hard-working, and intellectually outstanding monoethnic group. The myth also depicts Asian Americans as successful businessmen or having high-paying jobs in the STEM field.
The myth dates back to the 19th century, when the Chinese immigrants were compared to their counterparts while working on the transcontinental railroad—they were recognized for their hard-working ethic.
Although this stereotype has its positive outlook, it is harmful to any Asian American who does not fit into the stereotype.
Jayanthi Mistry, professor and chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, says, “Asians, who have a different history of discrimination become invisible.”
“Marginalization happens when you feel like you are being differentiated from a dominant group,” Mistry says. “You’re on the margins of the mainstream group with power. It can happen on the basis of sexuality, gender, national origins, race, socio-economic background—as well as other social identity categories.”
In the racial dialogue in the U.S., which focuses on the Black-White divide, Mistry says, “They are often left out of the race dialogue—they are made invisible.”
Discrimination comes veiled at ESPN commentator
Just Wednesday, during a segment on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show”, co-hosts Greg Hill, Jermaine Wiggins and Courtney Cox were discussing their “top five nips” as the Boston City Council prepares to discuss a possible ban on “nips” – small liquor bottles – because they are too small to be recycled and are often littered.
Producer Chris Curtis interjected, “I’d probably go Mina Kimes,” with a smirk and a smile to a giggly producer at his side.
Nip is an ethnic slur against people of Japanese descent and origin, according to Michael M. Ego, a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. Kimes, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is of Korean descent.
20% of Americans think Asian Americans had something to do with COVID-19
The 2022 STAATUS Index shows that 1 in 5 Americans believe that Asian Americans are at least partly responsible for COVID-19 compared to 1 in 10 the previous year.
Americans are also now more likely to believe that referring to the coronavirus as “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus” is appropriate, and 1 in 3 believe that Asian Americans are more loyal to their country of origin than to the U.S., up from 1 in 5 in 2021.
Asian and Black Americans fear mass shootings at high levels
Asian Americans reported highest levels of fear over becoming a victim of a mass shooting at 84%, compared to 74% of Black Americans, Latinos, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
NBC News reports Whites showed the lowest percentage at 59%. Of the groups, Asian and Black Americans displayed the most support for stricter gun control laws and a nationwide ban on assault weapons.