1The Model Minority Myth and How That Affects Us

The Asian community has always been seen as silent, well‐behaved achievers and held up as “good examples” when talking about the underrepresented and immigrants in Western countries, especially the United States. While it may seem like a compliment, this stereotype has caused harm that's rippled through the Asian community.

According to the book The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity: “The term ‘model minority’ refers to minority groups that have ostensibly achieved a high level of success in contemporary US society. The term has been used most often to describe Asian Americans, a group seen as having attained educational and financial success relative to other immigrant groups. The ‘model minority’ label on its surface seems to be an accolade because it appears to praise Asian Americans for their achievements.”1

And yet you rarely see Asian women (or even men) in higher leadership and management roles. In many instances, the measure of success for Asians is taken for granted. For example, how can one Asian person in a leadership position be seen as a “success” in representation? It's as if that person's Asian‐ness was enough to represent the more than 24 million Asian Americans who live in the United States.

You would think that if Asian Americans “achieved a high level of success,” then at the bare minimum, the community would represent at least 20% of the leadership positions in the United States, which is far from ...

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