Discussions about employment diversity often neglect to include Asian Americans, whose perception as a “model minority” lead many to assume they need no intentional consideration. In reality, the proportion of Asian Americans dwindles on the way to the top in most organizations. Asian Americans represent 5.6 percent of the United States population, but fewer than 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and less than 2 percent of board directors.

In the latest white paper from the Korn/Ferry Institute, Tapping Asian leadership potential to win in emerging markets, Karen Huang, Hawlan Ng, and Paul Chou explain the myriad socio-cultural factors adversely affecting opportunities for Asian and Asian-American managers in Western organizations, including an over-emphasis on personal expertise, indirect style of communication, and reluctance toward risk-taking. The paper also addresses deliberate steps aspiring leaders can take to overcome any stereotypes, and what organizations must do to root out culturally biased ideas about leadership effectiveness.

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