Why Are Asian Americans, and Filipino Americans in Particular, Last in Corporate America?

LEAP, a leader in promoting Asian American opportunities, has just unveiled an extraordinary and well-researched report demonstrating that 80% of corporations have no Asian Americans on their board and there is only one Filipino Americans in all of corporate America.

Specifically, the report shows that just one Filipino American is on the board of any Fortune 500 corporation. That is, among the 5,520 board seats, Filipino Americans hold just one. No wonder Filipino American nonprofits generally receive zero in philanthropy. No wonder our hundreds of thousands of small business owners continue to struggle without any contracts from Fortune 500 companies. And no wonder, although we are employed at these companies, we seldom hold any important positions.

Today we will be congratulating the only major corporation in American, Humana, a health insurance provider located in Louisville, Kentucky, for having the only Filipino American on a board. Board member Marissa T. Peterson is a pioneer and we should all be supporting her and Humana.
Within the next ten days, we will be congratulating all 98 Fortune 500 corporations that have at least one Asian American on their board and contacting the other 402 Fortune 500 corporations to urge them to appoint at least one Asian American to their board.

As the LEAP report discloses, Asian Americans represent almost 6% of the population and, within the next few years will have purchasing power of almost $800 billion per year, a sum far greater than that in most Asian American countries, including the Philippines.
In addition, we will be discussing with Mastercard, which has four Asian Americans on its board, the secret to its success in attracting Asian Americans and will begin meeting with the 13 Fortune 500 companies that have two or more Asian Americans on their board, such as Goldman Sachs, Pepsi, Safeway, Cisco, Staples, Yahoo and Matel.

On a personal note, we will be inviting the only Filipino American on a board, Marissa Peterson, to be a keynote speaker at the NAAC’s Eighth Annual Economic Development Conference in mid-October in South San Francisco. We will be inviting the nation’s first Filipino American State Supreme Court Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, to introduce Ms. Peterson.

Faith Bautista, President and CEO of the National Asian American Coalition said, “Not very long ago, there were virtually no women on boards of directors. Today, it is a rare for Fortune 500 companies to be without at least one or two women on their boards. It is NAAC’s goal that within this decade the same can be said of Asian Americans: two on every Fortune 500 board or at least 1,000 Asian American board members.”

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Media contact:
Faith Bautista, President and CEO
faith@mabuhayalliance.org
650-952-0522

Rhea Aguinaldo, Associate Director
rhea@mabuhayalliance.org
858-449-6701

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