May 14, 2024

Celebrating AAPI Month: Reasons Why It’s Important in the Workplace

By: sanjay sathe

May is AAPI, or Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It’s a time to celebrate the unique contributions made by people of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent throughout the history of the United States.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is AAPI, or Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It’s a time to celebrate the unique contributions made by people of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent throughout the history of the United States.


Origins of AAPI Heritage Month

There’s an interesting history behind why AAPI month is celebrated in May. On May 7, 1843, a fisherman who went by the name Manjiro became the first Japanese immigrant to arrive in the United States. May 10, 1869 also marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad that linked the East and West coasts of the country. This was possible due to the efforts of Chinese immigrants, who endured harsh conditions to construct the railroad. Initially, this celebration began as a weeklong observance. But over the years, it has evolved into a month-long festivity. Celebrations related to AAPI Heritage Month extend beyond culturally specific locations. Today, events are held nationwide, honoring diverse AAPI cultures and their contributions.

AAPI and Executive Hiring

As we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, it’s also a time for reflection, particularly in the workplace. Research by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that Asian Americans occupy only 3% of executive roles in the United States. From stereotypes to biases that hinder advancement, AAPI individuals often face challenges that hold them back in the workplace. Add in a lack of representation, mentorship, and hurdles in accessing networks, and it’s no wonder we’re seeing such low numbers. Breaking down these barriers and fostering a more inclusive environment is essential for unleashing the full potential of the AAPI community and driving innovation and success across industries.

5 Reasons Why AAPI Heritage Month Matters in the Workplace  

  1. Visibility and Representation: AAPI Heritage Month highlights the achievements of AAPI individuals, promoting representation and visibility within the organization.
  2. Cultural Understanding: Cross-cultural understanding is forged among employees by hosting events and organizing team-building workshops related to AAPI Heritage Month. 
  3. Combats Bias: Promotes positive representation, combats discrimination, and creates a more inclusive environment for all employees.
  4. Employee Engagement: Helps to foster a sense of belonging and pride among AAPI employees by providing a platform where their voices are heard and their contributions to the workplace are recognized.
  5. Promotes Diversity and Inclusion: Sends a message that all employees, regardless of their cultural background, are valued and have equal opportunities for growth and advancement

This is More than a Calendar Event

AAPI Heritage Month is more than just a calendar event. It’s a time to reflect on the rich cultures, experiences, and contributions that make up the AAPI community. But beyond the month-long celebration, it’s crucial to recognize that promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) is an ongoing journey, not a destination.

When it comes to DEI, it isn’t just about ticking off boxes or meeting quotas; it’s about fostering a workplace where every individual feels valued, regardless of their background. By actively promoting DEI, we not only honor the diversity within the AAPI community but also create an environment where everyone can thrive. This can help drive innovation, enhance employee satisfaction and retention, and ultimately strengthen overall organizational growth.

Prioritizing DEI Year-Round

AAPI month is a reminder of the importance of DEI efforts, especially when searching for future-ready leaders who will drive your company’s success. At SucceedSmart, we are all about helping businesses prioritize DEI. Our patented AI-powered accomplishment-based matching algorithm evaluates candidates based on past accomplishments—not personal information and characteristics—minimizing bias and promoting diversity and transparency in the executive recruitment process. Individual differences like race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, and physical ability are celebrated, with every executive choosing to self-select, through a double opt-in, to identify themselves as a diversity candidate and share with hiring managers.

Curious to know how our innovative, AI-powered executive hiring platform works? Book a demo today: