Asian/Pacific Americans In STEM Lack Representation at the Leadership Level - APA community continues to deal with “bamboo ceiling”

Asian/Pacific Americans are still underrepresented when it comes to leadership roles within corporations. In fact, Jane Hyun coined the term “bamboo ceiling” in her book, Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians to explain this phenomenon.

In the 2005 book, Hyun defines the term as a “combination of individual, cultural, and organizational factors that impede Asian Americans' career progress inside organizations.” In 2022, a new study published by the Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM) says more than 80% of Asian American and Pacific Islander women say the bamboo ceiling effect is real.

This May we celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) with all this community has contributed, but we also need to look at the struggles that remain.

“For the AAPI individuals (as well women and other minorities) in the industry, breaking in and getting their foot in their door may have already been a challenge,” said Janet Kim, Senior Director of Product at Misfits Market, an organic produce delivery service fighting food waste. “But despite that achievement, once they’ve entered the industry they may experience a “sticky floor” where they experience difficulty advancing their careers. They may be unable to climb the ladder to even reach the metaphorical glass / bamboo ceiling.”

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