The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is a 501(c)(3) coalition that aims to unity and collaboration among the various Asian Pacific American organizations and to improve the relationship of a culturally diverse Asian Pacific American community in Florida. The AAFF is a statewide organization made up of more than 70 Bangladesh, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Laotian, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese community-based organizations, businesses and media.


By S.B. Woo, President, 80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc.

GOAL: To eliminate discrimination against Asian Americans in the workplace.

OBJECTIVE : The removal of the glass ceiling above Asian Americans - .through the enforcement of Executive Order 11246 which threatens sanction against employers that receive any Federal contracts for discriminating against employees on the basis of ethnicity or national origin, among other things.

           2,000,000 AsAms working in private industries; and 71,000 in universities, and
                        Total: About 2 million AsAm workers.

NUMBER OF Asian Americans directly AFFECTED: 4 million. This assumes that each  AsAm worker has on average 1 non-working family member.

NUMBER OF Asian Americans directly & indirectly AFFECTED: 15 million. "A rising tide lifts all ships." Once we achieve equal opportunity in workplaces in the mainstream community, everyone benefits.


 ASSUMPTION: President Obama made an iron-clad promise to Asian Americans that he would
"issue a directive to the Labor Department asking it to focus on enforcing Exec.Order11246 on behalf of Asian Americans."
The above is valid provided that there is "statistical data strongly suggesting discriminatory practices
          against Asian Americans in workplaces today"

             What Statistical Evidence Does 80-20 Have?

 80-20 has data to show that "Asian Americans have the least opportunity to enter management (See Chart I below), despite having the highest  educational attainment. (See Chart II). We also have the slowest   rate of progress toward equal opportunity (See Chart III)."

Such data and more have been provided to the Dept of Labor, DOL.   Indeed, earlier in 2006, 80-20 bought a full page ad in Washington Post to publicize these data.

   Be sure to focus on the small pillboxes above each of the bars in chart III. A yellow/black pillbox denotes respectively the lengthening/shortening in each bar from 1996 to 2001. Note that the increases in Asian Am bars are only about ½  the sizes of those for women and Hispanics, although our bars are by far the shortest. At this rate of progress, it'll take 75 years or 3 more generations, before Asian Americans will enjoy equal opportunity. Are you outraged? .

   Are WE to continue being patient or timid? Or are WE to begin a  determined  NATIONWIDE bid for equal opportunity?


After a year's study, EEOC publicized on January 9, 2009 its report on "Bamboo Ceiling over Asian American". The report examined the lack of advancement opportunities for Asian Americans in the Federal Government,  the bastion of affirmative action. Ironic? It is our punishment for not paying attention to GROUP political clout.  See  EEOC report.  .

EEOC's recommendations include the following: (emphasis added by 80-20).

1)      "Promulgating an Executive Order that addresses issues of discrimination against AAPI employees in the federal sector ??quot; and  

2)      "Create requirements that hold senior leadership accountable ??for ??promotion of qualified AAPI candidates to the highest levels. ?? "

   Note that EEOC didn't shy away from using the phrase "discrimination against AAPI employees."

  People who want to preserve "good jobs" for themselves spread MYTHS against us.

   They try to falsely explain away the irrefutable statistical evidence of discrimination against Asian Americans as if it's Asian Americans' own faults. Here are some popular MYTHS against us:

MYTH 1: To be manager, business training is important. However, Asian Americans are mostly trained in Science and Engineering.

   When compared to other races, AsAms have a significantly HIGHER  % of people with business degrees.  

   Having a large % of Asian Americans in science and engineering does NOT equate fewer % of us who are trained in business. The percentage of Asian Americans with business degrees is much HIGHER than the national average. It is because very small % of Asian Ams are in such other fields as English, history, psychology, liberal arts, ?? etc.

   Indeed, Asian Americans have the highest percentage of all people with MBAs, and the second highest percentage of people with either a bachelors or  doctoral degree in business. See Table 1 below.

MYTH 2: The average Asian American income is higher than that of every ethnicgroup, except for Whites. That is proof positive that Asian Americans are not being discriminated.

   WRONG.  That statistics proves just the opposite. If Asian Americans were paid the average salary according to their educational attainment, their average income should be 15% higher than Whites instead of lower.  

   Income is tightly coupled to educational attainment according to the Census 2000.  If Asian American workers were paid the average national salary according to their educational attainment, the average Asian American income should  be about 15% HIGHER than the average Caucasian income, owing to their much higher average educational attainment than the Whites. See Chart 2 below. However, in reality, the income of  the average Asian American is LOWER than that of the average Caucasian.


Indeed, we are discriminated in workplaces in 2 ways:
      (1) having lesser chance to be promoted to management, &
      (2) getting paid less for the same job.  

 A 2009 salary survey by Scientist documented the same point. See the chart below:

How come our bars are normally the shortest? Are we doing right by our children?

MYTH 3: Asian Americans simply don't have the ambition, language ability, social and communication skills, & sense of humor to make managers.

   The same accusations were made against women, blacks, and Hispanics earlier. Now that there are hundreds of thousands of female, black and Hispanic managers, on account of the enforcement of EO 11246, such nonsense are no longer spread or believed. The same will prove to be case for Asian Americans, once EO 11246 is enforced for us.  

How come the same myth is still held against Asian Americans? Two main reasons.

(1)   Women, blacks and Hispanics have more GROUP political clout. People who utter such stereo negative image against them face severe repercussions. 

(2)   Once the individuals in those groups become convinced that they have the equal opportunity to be promoted, they worked in earnest to develop the skills they need to become managers.

   If Asian Americans are smart & hard working enough to get advanced degrees, Asian Americans can certainly learn how to communicate tactfully, and crack jokes in cocktail parties with a little hard work. The latter is the easier skills.

MYTH 4: Asian Americans are mostly new immigrants. So most Asian Americans don't have the seniority in workplaces to have managers yet.

   Hispanics are mostly new immigrants too. When compared to Hispanics., Asian Americans have MORE seniority with their current employers. When we don?�t have the GROUP political clout, then the lack of seniority is used as a lie to keep us beffudled.

See the Table below comparing Asian to Hispanic  workers with 5 or more years with their current  employers

MYTH 5: "Latent prejudice" against blacks is certainly higher. If blacks are making managers, and Asian Americans are not, it proves that Asian Americans just don't have the ability to be managers.

   "Latent prejudice" against blacks is indeed higher on many streets in America , not that prejudice should be tolerated anywhere against anyone. However, blatant discrimination against Asian Americans is higher in workplaces, because Asian Americans don't have the GROUP political clout to get EO 11246 enforced for us.


What will it take to get a minority in the USA equal opportunity in workplaces?

Do your part! "God helps those who help themselves."