Session: How to shatter the double-paned glass ceiling for Asian American women
The glass ceiling for Asian American women is double-paned: One pane represents gender stereotypes and the other represents racial stereotypes. An Ascend study reported that while white women were also underrepresented at the highest levels, Asian women were the least likely to be executives, relative to their proportion of the workforce. Researchers wrote, “The ‘Asian effect’ is 3.7X greater than the ‘gender effect’ as a glass ceiling factor.”
To better understand how Asian American women encounter the double-paned ceiling, we can examine the stereotypes and biases they encounter. In particular, there are three types of biases to consider:
1. Unfair Assumption
2. Unwanted Attention
3. Unequal Access
- Asian American women are under-represented at VP and above levels according to the 2022 McKinsey study.
- The double paned glass ceiling puts these women at a disadvantage.
- “The ‘Asian effect’ is 3.7X greater than the ‘gender effect’ as a glass ceiling factor," according to Ascend.
- These women are constantly facing 1. Unfair Assumption 2. Unwanted Attention 3. Unequal Access
- What can organizations do: Check Your Biases, Sponsor and Support Asian Women ERGs, and Leverage Community Involvement
Kelly brings 20+ years of Asian business development, entrepreneurial marketing, and management training experience to her role as a board diversity advocate and executive leadership coach.
During her 10 year board tenure at American Money Management, she led the audit committee to provide oversight to a $20 million mutual fund. She is also the former co-chair for Women in Bio’s Boardroom Ready program which has added 135+ board placements out of 150 female life-science executives.
In coaching science and technology entrepreneurs, she has helped founders scale their growing ventures as well as raised early seed funding. Kelly has also leveraged the management insights and thought leadership developed at Harvard Business School Publishing (HBP) to roll out online leadership training programs for Fortune 500 mid-level managers.
Kelly started her career in sales and marketing at IBM and then moved to China business development at Monsanto. At both organizations, Kelly created strategic partnerships with customers and partners to contribute to the bottom-line. More recently, she is active in the San Diego life-science community as a mentor and advisor.