Asian American Women Leadership Conference
May 10, 2019
Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, New York City
Asian American Women Leaders Conference, presented by Asian American Business Roundtable during Asian American Heritage month, will focus on successes and challenges faced by Asian American women as they ascend professional ladders across sectors and industries. Advocacy and action will continue to drive the discussions, taking a gender-focused approach.
It’s widely established that businesses and organizations that have racially diverse workforces and leadership have stronger revenue, a larger market share and understand their customers better.
Diversity by gender is also a key business driver, and there have been a number of recent initiatives to increase the representation of females on boards, in management and in the C-Suite.
These have ranged from state regulations, for example, California mandating more women on company boards for the enterprises that operate in the state; to large institutional investors like State Street’s “Fearless Girl” campaign to raise awareness of the issue, and to push companies in which it has invested to achieve greater board diversity.
Gender equality has also long been championed by a number of organizations, notably Catalyst, as well as by cross-industry groups like the 30% Club which aims to boost the proportion of female board directors.
Within this issue, women of color are a minority within a minority. According to data by Catalyst, women of color comprise just 4.7% of executive/senior level officials and managers, compared with 21.8% for white women. Excluding women of color from corporate leadership positions means excluding those with different backgrounds, communications styles and social networks than those typically found in management teams.
With an increasingly globalized economy as well as marketplaces and workplaces that are multicultural, companies that want to stay competitive need to include perspectives of Asian Americans and women, and by extension — Asian American women — at the top decision-making levels to contribute new ideas for developing strategy and to lead and represent the values and interests of companies.
Asian American women are typically a small contingent within minority workforces, compared with African-American and Hispanic cohorts who form larger proportions of the overall population. Culturally, Asian women can tend to disappear into the background due to traditional norms of behaviors and methods of communication that condition many to work diligently, keep their heads down and not speak up.
The Asian American Business Development Center sees the topic of increasing Asian women in business leadership as a critical element of its overall mission to promote development of Asian American entrepreneurs, executives and corporate leaders.
Please stay tuned for the Conference Agenda