How to Smash the API Glass Ceiling: A conversation with speaker and career coach Joy Chen

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Stereotyped as the “model minority,” Asian Pacific Islanders are often left out of workplace programming on diversity, equity and inclusion. APIs are America’s MOST educated group – but the LEAST likely to get promoted. APIs represent 12% of U.S. professionals, but only 1.5% of corporate officers in the Fortune 500. Why?

No one is better equipped to answer this question than our speaker, Joy Chen. Joy was raised in an immigrant family and overcame stereotypes and cultural gaps to be appointed Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, a position she used to expand education and workforce development to underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. She also worked as an executive search consultant for Fortune 500 companies across North America, Europe and Asia.

But Joy’s journey as a career guru for the API community actually started at USC when she volunteered to advise a group of Chinese undergrads. Over the next decade, she became in great demand in China as a speaker the Wall Street Journal called the “American Lean-In Guru in China.” This summer, she returned to Los Angeles to launch JOYOUS, a career coaching and leadership development firm for APIs.

USC APIFSA hosted Joy’s homecoming to USC on Thursday, November 18, 2021, as she examined the polar opposites of Asian and Western leadership styles, and how these clashing cultural norms combined with unconscious bias to limit the careers of APIs. Most importantly, she gave us her insider guidance on how to beat the odds so that we all can enjoy greater access to opportunities at all levels of American institutions and society.

For more information about the USC Asian Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association, please visit https://apifsa.usc.edu.
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