Jack Lee Partner Minami Tamaki San Francisco JadeLuckClub Bamboo Ceiling for Asian Americans in Corporate America?

Asian Americans Hit the Bamboo Ceiling in Corporate America. Here’s Why.

Asian in America

Asian Americans Hit the Bamboo Ceiling JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Thank you to Marc from the Diversity: A World of Change  LinkedIn Group who gave me this video, Asian Americans Hit the Bamboo Ceiling, from BNET, The CBS Interactive Business Network. The primary speaker is Jack Lee, Partner; Minami, Tamaki, LLP; San Francisco.

His bio:

Mr. Lee received his undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1973. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings Law School in 1976.

Mr. Lee has extensive experience litigating complex employment, antitrust, consumer and civil rights class actions in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He has prosecuted precedent-setting class action discrimination cases against major Fortune 500 corporations and governmental entities, attaining some of the most significant monetary settlements in the history of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Jack Lee Partner Minami Tamaki San Francisco JadeLuckClub Bamboo Ceiling for Asian Americans in Corporate America?

Here’s the link: Asian Americans Hit the Bamboo Ceiling


The video is 16 minutes so these are the notes I took while watching it. Some of the notes are from the video, others are questions that came to my mind as I listened. If you can get through 16 minutes (I know that it’s long for the uTube generation), please leave me a comment on your take. Thanks!

p.s. There is one thing about Corporate Boards that I do know. The first one is hard to get, but once you are in the “club,” it’s not so hard to get more. Because, guess what, the other board members that you interact with all hang with other Corporate Board member types, and they recommend the people that they know. It’s not exactly an “Old Boys Club,” it’s just like filling a job. You recommend the people you know and respect who have done that job well for or with you.

p.p.s. If you like this post you might like, Do Asian Americans Have Real Clout in America? How many Asian American CEOs, Politicians and Billionaires?

Why? Are we too passive? Not leaders? We don’t conform to the “Dominant Stereotype?” We don’t stare down? We don’t throw down? We don’t toot our own horn? Too humble? Is this our own fault? Is there a culture of intolerance that hurts us? Is this not our fault? Tiger Mom phenonmenon– we are pushed to value education but this doesn’t translate to Corporate America? Why? Why aren’t we rising through the ranks if we get into the best schools? Being a top student is very different from being a CEO. We don’t have the interpersonal skills to be a CEO? Lack of mentoring by Corporate America because there are no role models at the top?

Asian Americans have reported themselves as being more ambitious than others. 25% of Asian Americans feel discriminated in the work place, yet we don’t complain. We don’t file law suits. We don’t speak up.

It’s not like Asians are not competent running a company if you look at companies in Asia. Is one style of management better than another (Asian versus Other)? No.

What needs to happen for Asian American to move up? What needs to change? This is the same story that women have faced in Corporate America.


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4 thoughts on “Asian Americans Hit the Bamboo Ceiling in Corporate America. Here’s Why.”

  1. I worked for Bechtel as a project procurement manager in the Asia Pacific based in Singapore in the past. I sincerely felt that they was surely a strong Bamboo Ceiling in the senior management of corporate America for Asian managers.

    Perhaps, with the strong economy in Asia Pacific, more Asian Americans should return to Asia to capture the Asian Dream and forget about their American Dream, which often may become an American nightmare.

    JK Tan

  2. From my LinkedIn Group Voices of Asian Americans USA:

    Interesting. I wonder if Asian Americans going back to motherland has any affect, or the Bamboo Ceiling has affect in them going back. My brother, worked for Microsoft, but quit and went back to Korea to work as an executive for Samsung.

    Posted by Kwan

  3. From my LinkedIn Group Voices of Asian Americans USA:

    It’d be an interesting study. Especially if you can compare the experience with other immigrant groups from the past. Jewish didn’t have such options when their 1.5 or 2nd generation was establishing themselves. Some Irish went back to Ireland to fight for motherland.

    Many Asian multi-national corps, like HTC, LG, and Samsung, have been recruiting Asian Americans heavily for the last decade or so. I’ve been approached by LG recruiters several times at various IT shows. Many jobs start in US but to get ahead, they suggest moving back at least for awhile especially when you get to director’s position.

    But then, when you go back to the motherland, you face another ceiling. Many Asian societies, especially Korea and Japan, are organized by high school and college alumni and many Asian Americans don’t have such ties.

    Posted by Kwan

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