CAPAC Addresses the Lack of Asian Pacific Americans in America's Fortune 100 Companies

Aug 10, 2016

Washington, DC- Today, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Economic Development Task Force Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06) sent letters to America’s Fortune 100 companies to address the lack of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) that serve in senior level positions. The correspondence asks each company for specific details about its diversity and inclusion practices for AAPIs, specifically how many employees of Asian and Pacific Islander descent hold senior positions and what initiatives exist to promote AAPIs into those high level posts.

“As the AAPI community continues to grow, it is vital to ensure that our corporate workforce reflects the diversity of our country,” said Rep. Chu. “This is especially true for our nation’s Fortune 100 companies, where there are so few AAPIs in senior leadership positions. CAPAC has made it a top priority to promote greater diversity and inclusion efforts in Corporate America, and we look forward to working with these companies to build a more robust, equitable, and inclusive workforce.”

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States,” said Rep. Meng. “But despite this rapid growth, AAPIs are significantly underrepresented in U.S. corporate leadership. It’s time for that to change, and this outreach to our nation’s Fortune 100 companies is the first step towards accomplishing that goal.”

America’s Fortune 100 companies are the 100 largest public and privately held companies in the United States. The text of each letter sent is below.

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August 10, 2016

Dear _____:

On behalf of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), we write to inquire about your company’s diversity and inclusion practices for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) at the most senior levels of your organization. CAPAC was founded in 1994 and is composed of 50 Members of Congress, including Members who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent and those who represent large AAPI constituencies. Our caucus is fully committed to protecting and advancing the needs, interests and aspirations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and we have a strong desire to learn more about your corporation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as your engagement with and investment in the AAPI community.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, AAPIs are the fastest growing racial population in our country, growing by double-digits in nearly all of the 50 states. Collectively, AAPIs represent approximately six percent of the U.S. population. As AAPI communities continue to grow, so does our buying power and influence. In fact, Asian American buying power in the United States is currently $825 billion – larger than the economies of all but 17 countries worldwide.[1]

Despite our significant population growth and all that we have achieved in the U.S., AAPIs still remain severely underrepresented at the senior-most levels of the largest U.S. corporations, particularly within the Fortune 100 companies. A study conducted by Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, revealed that AAPIs hold only 2.7 percent of the total number of corporate board seats.[2]

This lack of diversity in Corporate America is of deep concern to CAPAC because many of these companies have claimed for years that it is their over-arching goal to reflect the diversity of their customer base and the communities they serve. Without executive leadership representation at Fortune 100 companies, AAPI employees have fewer role models and fewer internal champions to guide and mentor them. Corporate leaders also have fewer internal resources to guide them in fully understanding the needs and aspirations of AAPI consumers.

In order to better understand your diversity and inclusion efforts in the AAPI community, we request that you provide the following information before the end of September 2016:

1. The current number of C-Suite/Senior Executive Management members in your organization of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander heritage, including the percentage of AAPIs at this level.

2. The percentage of overall corporate philanthropic funding devoted to the AAPI community, and a list of the AAPI organizations with whom you work.

3. The percentage of all contract dollars awarded to AAPI businesses who serve as vendors to your organization.

4. Specific examples programs and initiatives you employ to advance diversity, inclusion and engagement throughout your organization.

5. Any other information you would like to furnish about your diversity and inclusion efforts in the AAPI community.

Thank you for your support and participation. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

Judy Chu                Grace Meng

[1] https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2016/asian-americans-are-expanding-their-footprint-and-making-an-impact.html

[2] https://www.leap.org/2012_api_representation_on_fortune_500_boards

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.