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Discrimination Against Asian Americans Takes Many Forms

asian american workers stressed at desk

Asian American workers continue to face biases that impact their lives, according to a recent survey of more than 7,000 Asian adults by Pew Research Center.

The report indicated that most Asian American individuals in the U.S. face stereotypes as foreigners or a model minority—the widespread assumption that Asian Americans are a hardworking group that doesn’t need help.

“For many Asian Americans, discrimination experiences are not just single events, but instead come in several often-overlapping forms,” the report said.

According to the survey:

  • 78 percent of Asian adults have been treated as a foreigner in some way, even if they are U.S. born.
  • 63 percent of Asian adults have experienced incidents where people assume they are a model minority.
  • 58 percent of Asian adults say they have ever experienced racial discrimination or been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity.

In many instances, Asian stereotypes can bleed into the workplace and create stress among Asian American employees, impact retention rates and erode a company’s culture. SHRM Online has gathered additional news on this topic.

Asian American Employees Lack a Sense of Belonging at Work

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S., but a 2023 survey revealed that the group largely does not feel included in certain aspects of the workplace. Here are some ways companies can help Asian American workers feel they belong.

(SHRM Online)

1 in 3 US Asians and Pacific Islanders Faced Racial Abuse in 2023

About 15 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islanders said they’ve been the victim of a hate crime. About half— 51 percent—said they believe racism is an “extremely” or “very serious” problem in the U.S., according to a poll from AAPI Data and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

(The Associated Press)

Why Aren't There More AAPI Executives?

Asian-American and Pacific Islander workers are well-represented in corporate America, but they are largely absent in leadership roles. The perception that Asian-American workers have attained “the American Dream” as the model minority has stunted the demographic's professional growth and contributed to the widening leadership gap across industries.

(SHRM Online)

EEOC Filed Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Against Asian American Worker

In 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against HCA Healthcare after an Asian American employee alleged that the company denied him a promotion in favor of a younger, underqualified white candidate. The EEOC said that the candidate HCA Healthcare ultimately selected for the promotion did not meet the minimum qualifications required for the position.


Tips for Helping Asian American Workers Progress Professionally

Joy Chen, CEO of the Multicultural Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, spoke about how Asian American individuals often get great grades in school and eventually enter great companies. But after age 30, their careers plummet. Their rate of promotion into management is less than that of whites, African Americans and Latino workers. Here’s how HR can help.

(SHRM Online)


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.