LEAP: Only 2% of AAPIs Serve As Executive Officers in the Fortune 500

LEAP’s Latest Findings Show Only 2 Percent of Asian and Pacific Islanders Serve As Executive Officers in the Fortune 500

Los Angeles, CA, June 27, 2012 – Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) unveils the unique findings of its newest leadership series report on Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Executive Officers and Top Earners in the Fortune 500. Despite the recent Pew study’s framing of Asian Americans as the Model Minority who has achieved success equal to or greater than other Americans, LEAP’s newest report on Executive Officers indicates otherwise and provides an undeniable picture of a woefully underrepresented group in top leadership positions in the Fortune 500.

Key Findings

  • In 2011, only 79 companies in the Fortune 500 had API representation at the executive officer level.
  • There were 99 executive officers (2 percent) of API descent. Thirteen API executive officers served as Chief Executive Officer at their company. Of those, three were women.
  • Only 51 APIs were identified by their company as one of the top five highest compensated executive officers (top earners). Of those, four were women.

Fifteen Fortune 500 companies had two or more API executive officers in their company: PepsiCo, Merck, Aflac, Jabil Circuit, Consolidated Edison, Yum Brands, Applied Materials, Synnex, Stanley Black & Decker, Boston Scientific, Dover, Broadcom, Franklin Resources, SanDisk and Cognizant Technology Solutions

APIs are one of the fastest growing minority groups and a vital part of the nation’s talent pipeline and yet APIs remain one of the least represented groups in leadership roles. LEAP helps individuals and corporations alike develop a robust pipeline of leaders through its leadership development programs. With the growing number of over 125,000 individuals who have been positively impacted by LEAP’s training, LEAP believes that more APIs can be proactive today and actively participate in shaping the future of the country.

“Through these reports and our programs, LEAP will continue to shed light on the need for more representation of APIs in leadership positions,” said Linda Akutagawa, LEAP’s President and CEO. “As we celebrate 30 years of growing and developing leaders, we will take the opportunity to address this important issue on July 26th during our Leadership Awards Gala at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.”

This gala dinner celebrates LEAP’s 30 years of “Growing Leaders” and the leadership and accomplishments of individuals and organizations that exemplify LEAP’s mission to achieve full participation and equality for APIs through leadership, empowerment, and policy. Proceeds from the event are used to develop LEAP’s innovative leadership programs, cutting-edge public policy research, and nationwide community building.

To see the full report or to learn more about LEAP’s 30th Anniversary Awards Gala, please visit www.leap.org.

About LEAP:  Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) is a national organization founded in 1982 with a mission to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) through leadership, empowerment and policy. With original programs in leadership training, public policy research and community education, LEAP raises the impact and visibility of APIs in all sectors. LEAP is headquartered in Los Angeles and has an office in Washington, DC.

Under its leadership research initiative, LEAP is producing a series of research reports to evaluate and measure API representation at the highest leadership levels (board of directors) on corporations, nonprofits and foundations.

CONTACT: Rima K. Matsumoto
VP, Research & Strategic Alliances
Tel. (202) 412-4190, rmatsumoto@leap.org