Report: "Inclusion@Work | Asian Americans"
PowerToFly co-sponsored research reveals value of DEI for AAPI talent in 2023
There are 24 million people who identify as being Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) living in the U.S. today — and that number is only growing. (It’s already doubled in the last 20 years, from 11.9 million in 2000.)
And with US businesses spending $200-plus billion on improving racial equity at work, it’s vital that companies know whether they’re actually making progress and improving the work experience for minority groups.
Do AAPI employees feel that their companies’ efforts are working? What progress has been made to find, train, and retain APAI talent? What impact do certain actions — like investing in business resource groups — have on key metrics like retention, perceived sense of trust, and likelihood of lawsuits in the AAPI worker pool?
As it turns out, taking DEI action to support AAPI employees at work can go a long way. Employers with ERG or BRG programs are twice as likely to have their employees feel that their companies support their concerns (85% versus 46%), are twice as likely to have employees feel comfortable speaking about race at work (58% versus 30%), and 1.5x more likely to have employees feel a sense of trust and respect between employees (83% versus 55%).
Those findings and more came out of Asian Americans: Action-Based Metrics for Executive Leadership, a comprehensive new report co-sponsored by PowerToFly as part of the Inclusion@Work Annual Report Series. Created in partnership with co-sponsors Prisca, APCO Worldwide, Novartis, MMCA, Acend, and Urban League of Greater San Francisco Bay Area, and based on a wider survey of 1,255 U.S. workers, including 220 Black workers, the report reveals important findings about the current value, perceptions, and risks of DEI for AAPI workers in 2023. Read on for three of the core findings of our research — and where to find action items for addressing those findings — below.
Finding #1: Intersectionality matters — AAPI women and men see inclusion differently.
When sexism and racism intersect, they create uniquely difficult situations.
AAPI women often face three overlapping issues at work: gender inequity, the “model minority” myth, and the “perpetual foreigner” stereotypes. These cascading issues mean that AAPI women are less comfortable (51%) than AAPI men (64%) talking about racism at work and are less likely to feel that leadership addresses diversity concerns.
Finding #2: Younger AAPI workers care even more about inclusion.
Gen Z and millennial workers have made it known that they care more than other generations about DEIB at work. Younger AAPI workers are doubling down on that trend.
61% of AAPI workers less than 45 years old say that racial issues come at a cost to their company, compared to 48% of older AAPI workers.
44% of young AAPI workers say their ethnic group is underrepresented (compared to 29% of older AAPI workers) at work — and nearly a quarter of them, compared to 14% of older AAPI workers, say that they valued the DEIB policies as an important factor when they chose their current job.
Finding #3: AAPI workers have blind spots when it comes to other workers of color.
Fewer AAPI workers, when compared to Black and Latino/Hispanic workers, think that “race relations” are an important issue at work. AAPI workers tend to have less positive views of Black coworkers, rating them lower on scales of friendliness and team-player-ness than other groups.
60% of Black workers see themselves as friendly and 58% of white workers agree, whereas only 47% of AAPI agree.
AAPI workers are the future
AAPIs are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in New York City. That isn’t true yet for other major metropolitan areas, but based on data from the last U.S. Census, it will be soon. It’s vital that communities and companies alike dig into the specific issues faced by AAPI people.