Silicon Valley's Asian American Glass Ceiling

Buck Gee at an ASNC Event

According to Buck Gee and Vish Mishra, Asian Americans face significant challenges in Silicon Valley's high tech-workforce and are subject to a “glass ceiling” that stops them from climbing the corporate ladder to the C-Suite. On April 24th in an op-ed in San Jose Mercury News, they noted the discrepancy between workforce numbers and level of executive representation: "While the proportion of Asian-American high-tech workers in Silicon Valley has grown from 38 percent in 2000 to more than 50 percent in 2010, their representation on senior executive teams is only 11 percent.” Things actually seem to be getting worse: at the board level, their presence dropped from 8.8 percent to 8.3 percent. And though Chinese-Americans constitute the largest Asian group, their board representation has dropped from 5 percent to 3 percent.

An ASNC board member, Gee established the Advanced Leadership Program for Emerging Asian American Executives at Stanford University, which provides global business leadership development for Asian Americans with executive-level ambitions at U.S. companies. It is a partnership between Asia Society, ASCEND, and Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Mishra is venture director of Clearstone Venture Partners and president of TiE Silicon Valley.