Why Asians and Everyone Else Should Diversify their Business Networking

Have you heard of the phenomenon, often referred to as the "Bamboo ceiling." When I first join the Navy as my first career in the US, I was first part of the statistic but no longer true in today’s world.

But is it?

In 2020, Lu and colleagues published a research article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science explaining that East Asians are less likely than South Asians and whites to succeed in American organizations, partly because the non-assertive communication style of East Asians does not match the leadership or communication styles of American mainstream culture. This research proves that most East Asians - but not so much of South Asians - are less likely than other ethnicities to emerge as leaders in multiethnic environments partly because East Asians tend to socialize more effectively in their own native way with their own cultural members.

I would also add besides the East Asians that Lu mentioned, that other culture like the black community were the more likely to be nominated and elected as leaders partly because they tend to socialize our communicate more specially with their own ethnic in-group members. But I can only speak based on my last 6 years in business and 23 years military experiences from 1991-2014.

In short, East Asian Americans particularly people from Japan, Korea, China who are native English speakers raised in the United States, tend to succeed and socialize more with their ethnic in-group than other Asians from Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

This maybe why there are challenge towards many Asians due to cultural mismatch between their ethnic belongingness and the social dynamics to becoming leaders in the multiethnic American settings.

Now of course, there are exceptions to the rule, me as an Asian American from the Philippines loves to socialize and host networking events like the group I created in 2016 called FusionMeet.

There are still Asian underrepresentation than the black community because of our timidity (me speaking in general as Filipino American) and being role model (in school or tech industry) should bring more networking opportunities for really diverse interactions, mentorship and representation.