Ellen Pao, former Reddit CEO; Debby Soo, OpenTable
CEO; Eric Yuan, Zoom founder and CEO; Chieh Huang,
Boxed CEO; Vicky Tsai, Tatcha founder and CEOPhoto
credit: Ellen Pao, OpenTable, Zoom, Boxed, Tatcha;
Photo Illustration: Elham Ataeiazar for CNBC Make It
‘I wish I spoke up sooner’: 12 Asian American leaders talk career, identity and representation in the U.S.

As the fastest growing racial group in the United States, Asian Americans have had a significant impact on shaping America’s culture. Despite their influence, they’ve lagged in receiving equal access for growth and opportunities in corporate America.

When looking at the overall workforce, Asian Americans make up 13% of working professionals in the U.S., but, as they move up the corporate ladder, they occupy just 6% of leadership roles.

This disconnect between the number of Asian Americans in the workforce and those promoted into management positions can largely be linked to the model minority myth, in which Asian Americans are assumed to be hardworking individuals who have easily made it to the highest levels of success. And while stats show that Asian Americans overall do have some of the highest levels of educational attainment and income in the U.S., not all Asian American ethnic groups fit into this category.

By Megan Wilson (she, her, hers)
Megan Wilson (she, her, hers) Associate Director, Communications and Outreach