Though Asian Americans make up a larger proportion of the professional workforce than the demographic’s overall population share, it seems their odds of climbing the ladder are slimmest.
A recent op-ed in Harvard Business Review analyzed national workforce data to show that white professionals are twice as likely to be promoted into manager roles than Asian American colleagues. Asian employees were the least likely to be promoted out of any race, including blacks and Latinos.
Researchers have spotted this trend in a number of private industries, including technology, accounting and corporate law.
The public sector might also play a role. In 2016, Asian Americans made up nearly 10 percent of all federal professionals but only 4.4 percent of workers at the highest level.