Ming Long held the position as the CEO of Investa Property Group. When she left this role, the number of Asian CEOs in the ASX 200 dropped to half.
What does this mean?
We already know that Asians make up around 10% of the population yet only 2% make it to senior executive positions within corporations. This disproportionate statistic is also very poignant as Asian Australians have the highest educational attainment.
Ming Long has been vocal about her struggles as an Asian woman at the top. She runs one of the largest real estate and finance companies in Australia and she’s jumped over backwards to try and fit into the culture of Australian society.
She understands that Asian women are naturally predisposed to have a soft demeanor. This is the quiet and “good-at-maths” type. They are not supposed to be threatening and if they are otherwise different to these preconceived views, they are labelled as aggressive.
The thing with leadership is that you must be respected and promoted through individual who would be willing to work under you. It is a difficult task to balance these stereotypes with authoritative and effective leadership if you are seen to be an individual who would supposedly be not really intimidating.
Ming Long points out another important issue in employment practices of companies. They often seek out individuals who fit their ‘culture’. She argues that is creates a homogenous workforce and therefore not exposed to the differing views produced through a diverse workforce.
So why are companies hiring like this? This brings us back to the idea of unconscious bias in hiring practices.