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A New UC-Hastings Law School Study Shows Bias Persists Against Asian Women In Tech

By AHN Staff Writer

April 15, 2022

While there are more Asian women in tech than ever before, these women of color are facing greater hurdles compared to white women in the industry. 

The authors of the UC-Hastings law school, Joan C. Williams, Rachel Korn, and Asma Ghan gathered data between December 2019 and May 2020 and discovered that diversity initiatives disproportionately exclude Asian women.

East Asians

According to the report, 42% of East Asians (e.g., Chinese) were being demeaned stereotyped and left out of the loop, experiences that are considerably more similar to those of Black women than white women.

After having children, nearly half of the East Asians’ competence and dedication were questioned, and 38% were more likely to have had difficulty obtaining administrative support.

As a result, East Asians are 66% less likely than white women to see a long-term future at their companies. 

South Asians

The study found that South Asian (e.g. Indian) women in tech were given low-level work below their skill set 54% of the time, compared to white women. They were also stereotyped to an excessive degree, with others being surprised at their English abilities.

They were up to 54% more likely than white women to report that it was politically wise to distance themselves from others like them.

South Asian women were 60% less likely than white women to believe they had a long-term future at their companies. 

Southeast Asians

Southeast Asian women were 43% more likely to be expected to be worker bees, while 51% were being pushed into traditionally feminine roles compared to white women. 

Filipinos were stereotyped as the friendliest among all Asian subgroups, as Southeast Asian women were 57% more likely than white women to console someone who was upset than their colleagues. 45% were more likely to be perceived as team players rather than leaders.

Although, 65% of Southeast Asians were more likely to be questioned, “Where are you actually from?” the perennial foreigner inquiry.

Southeast Asian women (e.g., Vietnamese) were 29% more likely than white women to say they had left a job because of its workplace culture.

Finally, East Asian women were 47% less likely than white women to express discomfort, with Southeast Asian women following closely behind.

The authors believe that discomfort should not lead to silence, and it is ill-advised to leave Asian employees out of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.