AirTalk®

Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more. Hosted by Larry Mantle

Why Asians struggle to break a glass ceiling in Silicon Valley

by AirTalk®

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An employee walks through the lobby of Google's Washington headquarters, January 8, 2015 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A new study recently published by non-profit, Ascend reveals some startling facts about the role that Asians play in Silicon Valley.

Co-authored by former Cisco Systems vice president, Buck Gee, the report shows that, while Asians make up 27% of the professionals working in tech, significantly fewer hold leadership positions: only about 14%. Conversely, whites occupy about 62% of jobs and over 80% of senior leadership roles. Within the two groups, Asian females fared even worse.

While a bias certainly seems to exist in the tech sector, some specialists suggest that young Asian professionals are being taught job skills, but not the social skills necessary for climbing the corporate ladder.

Today on AirTalk, we examine the issue with the author of the study, and the woman who is in charge staffing for one of the largest employers in San Jose.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: Asian American Leaders in Silicon Valley

Guests:

Buck Gee, Executive advisor for Ascend, a non-profit pan-Asian organization for business professionals. He helped author the study. He is also a  former executive at Cisco Systems.

Kim Marcelis, VP of strategic planning at Cisco Systems, a major networking company and the second-largest employer in San Jose. She is not affiliated with the study and can speak about the challenges facing female Asians.

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