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Landmark Asia Society Corporate Survey Honors Top Companies for Asian Pacific Americans

May 17, 2010
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Contact: 212-327-9271, [email protected]

Asia Society Survey Demonstrates that Developing and Promoting Asian Pacific Americans into Corporate Leadership Positions Can Be Done

The Groundbreaking “2010 Asian Pacific Americans Corporate Survey” of 2,000 Fortune 500 Employees Identifies Best Practices and Highlights Best Companies

PepsiCo. Named “Overall Best Company for Asian Pacific American Professionals to Work For”

McDonald’s Honored as “Best Company for Promoting Asian Pacific Americans to Develop Workforce Skills”

Cardinal Health Is “Best Company for Support of the Asian Pacific American Community”

KPMG Is “Best Company in Promoting Asian Pacific Americans into Senior Leadership Positions”

New York (May 17, 2010) – Asia Society strengthens its mission to bridge Asian and American relations through business, politics, education and the arts with its landmark “2010 Asian Pacific Americans Corporate Survey” of 2,000 Fortune 500 employees – the first to exclusively measure the corporate success of Asian Pacific Americans and show how companies can create an inclusive workplace that promotes APAs to corporate leadership positions and draw on APA talent to grow their business at home and abroad.

The survey results, released May 17, 2010, at Asia Society’s annual Diversity Leadership Forum, highlight the best companies in four categories of corporate development – showing how strong leadership builds success.

For “Overall Best Company for Asian Pacific Americans to Work For,” the winner is PepsiCo. "As a culture that embraces and supports diversity, PepsiCo is honored to receive this award from Asia Society which recognizes our commitment to attract, retain and engage Asian Pacific Americans. And while we have made much progress, our journey toward greater inclusion remains a priority for us globally,” said PepsiCo Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Finance Tessa Hilado. 

The survey showed that APA employees overwhelming care about the futures of their companies and give their employers high marks for diversity efforts. Yet, a gap emerges when asked about upward mobility – or overcoming a so-called “bamboo ceiling.”

While Asian Pacific Americans are among the most qualified employees – with above-average educational accomplishments – they largely feel under-represented in leadership positions and are less likely to feel they are able to fully employ all of their skill sets or have opportunities for career growth and development. What’s more – in an era of globalization, less than one-third of those surveyed felt their company encourages its employees to pursue careers in Asia.

Separating the “Best-in-Class” companies from the pack is their commitment to promoting diversity at all levels of the organization – a result borne out by the survey results.

“McDonald’s is so proud to be named the 2010 Best Company for Asian Pacific Americans to Develop Workforce Skills. This award comes to us only as a result of the hard work that many individuals put in to help grow our APA talent and the support that our senior leaders have given our Asian Pacific Middle Eastern Network. We are especially proud to receive this honor because the results were based on the opinions of our own employees,” said Karen Garcia, Vice President and General Manager, McDonald’s USA, LLC, and National Chairperson, McDonald’s Asian, Pacific, Middle Eastern Employee Network.

"Cardinal Health is honored to receive the Asian American Community Award recognizing our commitment to the diversity of our workplace and our community. The leadership of our Asian Pacific employee resource group and its members have done a terrific job leading our efforts. And while we know there is still much room for improvement, we are on the right track and encouraged by our progress on this important journey," said George Barrett, Chairman and CEO, Cardinal Health.

"We are pleased to be recognized by the Asia Society for our significant efforts to increase the firm’s diversity and build a strong pipeline of diverse talent, including promoting Asian Pacific Americans into senior leadership positions," said Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, KPMG National Managing Partner, Diversity and CSR. "As a professional services firm, our people are the cornerstone of our success. Having a diverse workforce and diverse leaders makes our firm stronger and more equipped to meet the needs of the global business community that we serve.”

The Forum, hosted this year by Credit Suisse, brought together CEOs, senior leaders and decision-makers from Fortune 500 companies to discuss cutting-edge strategies related to leadership and career development, including managing a globally diverse workforce in the U.S. and Asia; cultural fluency; and promoting Asian American corporate leaders.

“Asia Society is working to help develop leadership skills in Asian Pacific Americans throughout corporate America,” said Asia Society President Vishakha Desai. The survey report “is a key building block in helping to understand best practices in developing Asian Pacific Americans as leaders at Fortune 500 companies and should serve as a guide for companies in managing successful diversity and inclusion programs.”

Asia Society’s effort was led by its Corporate Relations team, the Corporate Diversity Council and Chairman Circle member Bernadette C. O’Connell, in collaboration with Questar, an independent research firm. Questar reviewed submissions from 2,000 participants from Fortune 500 companies across the United States to identify where Asian Pacific Americans are positioned in the corporate ladder by seniority and job type, and which corporations promote employee growth and development and help their Asian Pacific American employees in developing best skill sets to contribute to corporate profits. An awards committee comprising Linda Akutagawa (Senior Vice President, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics Inc), Subha Barry, Philip Berry (President, Philip Berry Associates LLC), Ted Childs (Principal, Ted Childs LLC), and Dinyar Devitre (Trustee Asia Society), selected the four Best Companies from the list of 10 Finalists. 

To purchase copies of the survey report, contact Nicky Combs at 212-327-9299

Corporate partners for the Forum include Gold Sponsor and Host: Credit Suisse; Silver Sponsors: GE, Goldman, Sachs & Co., IBM, MasterCard Worldwide, and PepsiCo, Inc.; Bronze Sponsors: 3M, BNY Mellon, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cardinal Health, Inc., Chartis, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Corning Incorporated, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG LLP, Kraft Foods Inc., Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., McDonald’s USA, National Grid, New York Life Insurance Company, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Time Warner Inc.

The Asia Society’s Corporate Diversity Council – made up of Chief Diversity Officers from Global 500 companies – has made a commitment to provide platforms like this forum to discuss and examine the keys to building corporate leadership and address the critical importance of cultural fluency and managing a diverse workforce.

Asia Society Corporate Diversity Council

American Express
BNY Mellon
Cardinal Health
Colgate-Palmolive Company
Corning Incorporated
Credit Suisse
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
JPMorgan Chase
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Merck & Co., Inc.
Morgan Stanley
National Grid
New York Life Insurance Company
Novartis Pharma AG
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP
Time Warner Inc.

About the Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders and institutions of the United States and Asia. The Society seeks to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.
Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C. 
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