Coqual study finds numerous workplace injustices against Asian professionals

62% say ongoing violence against A/AA/PI community has left them fearful of racial discrimination

Global think tank Coqual has called for workplaces to Audit, Awaken and Act after its latest study, Strangers at Home: The Asian and Asian American Professional Experience, highlighted the shocking rise in anti-Asian violence in the last two years.

The report shows that the increase in anti-Asian violence since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (A/AA/PI) professionals in and outside of the workplace.

Strangers at Home: The Asian and Asian American Professional Experience documents the daily indignities of racism and microaggressions, addresses a broken career pipeline, and acknowledges the diversity within this large cohort and why it is important to disaggregate data about them.

Accompanying the study is The Erasure and Invisibility of Pacific Islander Professionals white paper that spotlights the Pacific Islander professional experience, treating them separately, not as a monolithic group.

Coqual, just as many supporters of the A/AA/PI community from various races, believe companies should take a stand against the ongoing violence. Nearly half (49%) of Asian and Asian American professionals surveyed say it’s very or extremely important to them that their companies address violence against the A/AA/PI community. But only about one in four (26%) Asian and Asian American professionals feel that their company is very vocal about the issue of violence against the community.

“The current climate of anti-Asian hate has forced the community to fear for their psychological and physical safety in the world and the workplace,” said Lanaya Irvin, Coqual’s Chief Executive Officer. “This new report brings visibility to the challenges A/AA/PI employees face and provides concrete solutions for company leaders as they address inequities and support their employees.”

To help companies drive sustained, meaningful change, Coqual has developed a framework: Audit, Awaken, Act to provide steps for companies, leaders, and DE&I practitioners to use as they develop and execute their DE&I strategies. The full report includes examples, pointers, and pitfalls to avoid in each stage of the framework.

  • Audit: Assess the current state by engaging in organisational introspection. Identify where systemic inequities exist. Companies should avoid treating A/AA/PI professionals as a monolithic cohort, disaggregate the data, and take inventory of missing leadership qualities.
  • Awaken: Share audit results with leaders and employees and educate them on the structural racism faced by A/AA/PI professionals. Build bridges for communication and prioritise solidarity among the cohort.
  • Act: With the knowledge and understanding developed in the Audit and Awaken phases, companies must collaborate to build solutions, hold employees accountable to contribute, and take action to drive systemic change.

The full study results can be found here.

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