We talked to 200 Asian women about their work and salary — here’s what we found
Not only are Asian women the least likely to be promoted to leadership positions, but we make only 85 cents for every dollar that white men earn. When you dig further into the data, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander women make, on average, the least — as low as 38 cents for every dollar that white men earn — causing them to face some of the highest wage gaps compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
We also have to deal with the model minority myth, infantilization, racism, and sexism at our jobs. It’s called the bamboo glass ceiling (yeah, we cringe at the name too), and the more you read about it, the harder it is not to see how these stereotypes and generalizations about Asian women affect our pay, job opportunities, and overall career.
Here’s what else you should know:
The wage gap for women, especially women of color, persists regardless of industry, occupation, and education level. The National Partnership Organization claims that “38 percent of the gap is unaccounted for, leading researchers to conclude that factors such as discrimination and unconscious bias continue to affect women’s wages.”
Women are asking for raises as often as men, but they are less likely to get them, according to a 2018 study by the Harvard Business Review.
Women invest less than men do, losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly as much as $1 million in a lifetime.
Millennial women are three times more likely to talk to their friends about their sex lives than their salaries, according to a 2018 survey by Visa.
As the results started to roll in, we also came to realize that there were some questions that we could’ve written to be more specific. It’s important to note our question about whether one holds a full-time or part-time job could be interpreted differently by surveyors who feel they are full-time or part-time freelancers and contractors. We also had non-profit as an industry option, when non-profit can span many different industries. Because of that, we’re not including an industry breakdown in our data until our updated survey launches.
To start talking about these issues and encourage transparency about work and pay within our community, we surveyed over 200+ Asian women including femmes, queers, womxn, transgenders, and gender non-binaries. Those surveyed were mainly between the ages of 18 to 34 years old, with less than 10% being 35 to 55 years old or older. Racial and ethnic identities ranged from mainly Chinese, Multi-ethnic, Korean, Filipino, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese with only 6% who identified as Indian, Japanese, Hmong, Mien, Pakistani, or Thai. Job titles varied anywhere from office managers, production designers, and software engineers, to name a few, with a majority surveyed working in tech, marketing, art and design, and healthcare.