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asianamerican
Credit: Minsuh Park

Asian Americans are two and a half times more likely to be appointed as CEOs when companies are struggling rather than succeeding, reported a recent study co-authored by a Wharton professor.

Jointly conducted by Andrew Carton, a management professor, and University of Amsterdam professors Astrid Homan and Seval Gündemir, the study indicated that Asian Americans were appointed to the leading position two and a half times more frequently in a period of decline than during success. 

The researchers also discovered that this hiring trend was likely partially due to the influence of stereotypes. They hypothesized that this tendency could expose the Asian American leaders for more stress or blame in handling the challenge of saving a company.  

"It's important to understand that some seemingly positive stereotypes about minorities may appear to be silver linings on the surface, but they often obscure underlying challenges that perpetuate discrimination," Gündemir said in a press release

The study also revealed that Asian American CEOs served terms that were on average half as long as those of their white counterparts. 

The study was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology on Sept. 24. 

The co-authors noted that Asian Americans remain "underrepresented at the top of the corporate hierarchy," with less than 1 percent of CEOs being Asian American. 

Other studies have also found that Asian Americans face a "bamboo ceiling" in the workplace; despite being highly skilled, research has found that they are often not appointed to executive positions because of the perceived personality traits that they are not assertive or strong leaders

"A fairer representation of minority groups in positions of power can not only contribute to organizational productivity and innovation but also provide role models to minority employees," Gündemir said in the press release.

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