Event Recap: AAPI Executive Leadership: Reflecting on the Journey & Passing on the Legacy
AAPI Heritage Month Fireside Chat with Deb Liu and Buck Gee
May 23, 2023 — Asia Society Northern California hosted a fireside chat on “AAPI Executive Leadership: Reflecting on the Journey and Passing on the Legacy.” The event was moderated by Regional Chair of the Committee of 100, and Asia Society Board Member, Buck Gee. Buck Gee was in conversation with Deborah Liu, CEO of Ancestry.com and author of Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work.
During this fireside chat, Deb shared insights about growing up in the South, her journey to embrace diversity and introversion as strengths, and experience becoming the CEO of a $1 billion company. She also spoke to the dynamics of female leadership, explaining how women are judged differently than men in leadership settings, and how she grew to harness vulnerability as a leadership skill. Deb articulated the importance of owning one's identity as a CEO, equal to all other CEOs from different gender or racial backgrounds, as well as showing up to work with authenticity and trueness to self. After reflecting on her journey, Deb 'passed on the legacy' by sharing the work she does to uplift women of color, provide sponsorship and mentorship for others, and pass along wisdom from her leadership journey.
Buck also shared takeaways about AAPI leadership from his research, including the idea of 'The Myth of Asian Success'. Buck's data shows that there are growing numbers of Asians in the workforce, but far fewer Asians getting promoted to leadership positions, demonstrating equity barriers in the leadership pipeline.
During this conversation, the audience interacted with Deb and Buck in an intimate setting, asking personal questions about identity, leadership, and personal growth. After the program, attendees engaged in a guided networking activity to build community and solidarity amongst one another.
Find more images of the event here.