The Aerogram – Workplace Discrimination Against South Asian Americans Can Be Traced Back to the Classroom

by Punita Rice Culture

Discrimination against South Asian Americans in the workplace and the classroom

My friend and colleague Ruchika Tulshyan (a speaker, journalist, and the author of The Diversity Advantage) and I co-wrote a piece about how workplace discrimination against South Asian Americans can be traced back to the classroom, especially in light of the model minority myth, published this past week in The Aerogram.

Here are some of the takeaways from our article:

  • Starting in the classroom, belief in the model minority myth can lead to difficulties for students
  • …this can be traced back to pervasive and systemic discrimination that starts in K-12 environments, and impacts social beliefs
  • …which then ends up in the workplace
  • The model minority myth can sometimes help South Asian Americans get their foot in the door in certain workplaces (the myth can lead hiring managers to check off the diversity box in an apparently ‘nonthreatening’ way — which perpetuates its own problems)… BUT
  • …It can then create “a whole new ceiling,” since the same stereotypes that seem to make them appealing hires can work against them when it comes to advancement
  • Also, re: previous point, South Asian Americans (especially South Asian American women) are noticeably absent from leadership roles
  • Ultimately, discrimination against South Asian Americans exists from the K-12 level into the career space

If you’re interested, you can read the whole thing here.

P.S. – You can follow Ruchika on Twitter at @rtulshyan, or visit her website here. And if we’re not already Twitter friends, add me at @punitarice.
Also, in case you missed it, here’s a piece for Education Week Teacher on the importance of pronouncing students’ names correctly.

About the Author
Punita Rice

Punita Rice

Punita Rice is a mother, educator, writer, and founder of ISAASE. She is the author of Toddler Weaning: Deciding to Gradually Wean your Toddler & Making it Happen, and the forthcoming South Asian American Experiences in Schools: Brown Voices from the Classroom, and blogs about motherhood at Happy Mom Guide. Her work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here.