Asian American Career Ceilings: Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Peter Young

This webinar is the tenth in a series of events convened by the Committee of 100 that examine the challenges facing Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans with regard to barriers to advancement in a wide variety of professions in the U.S. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the already significant efforts of organizations and individuals who have been tackling this issue.

This fireside chat interview included two Asian Americans who have either observed, experienced or studied the Asian American Career Ceiling problem.

Asian Americans have been very underrepresented historically when it comes to leadership positions in the U.S. Although there has been an improvement over time, there is still a significant gap that has not been closed.

Previous webcasts in this series have highlighted the data that shows how serious the problem is, particularly if you go above the middle ranks of companies. It is also true at the corporate board level.

Both of our panelists have been executives in industry and/or advisors to companies and can talk about what is driving the problem, where they see the issue heading in terms of solutions, and what they see individuals and organizations doing to address this issue.

The interview was conducted by Peter Young, Committee of 100 member and Chair of the Committee of 100 Asian American Career Ceiling Initiative. The webinar was one hour long. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions during the last ten minutes of the webinar.


David H. Li, President and CEO, Cabot Microelectronics

David H. Li has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of Cabot Microelectronics Corporation, since January 2015. From June 2008 through December 2014, Mr. Li served as our Vice President of the Asia Pacific Region. Prior to that role, Mr. Li held various leadership roles, including our Managing Director of China and Korea, and our Global Business Director for Tungsten and Advanced Dielectrics. Prior to that, he held a variety of leadership positions in operations, sourcing and investor relations since joining us in 1998. B.S., Purdue University, M.B.A., Northwestern University.

Harrison Lung, Partner, McKinsey

Harrison Lung is a Partner for McKinsey & Company, a leading global management consulting firm, based out New Jersey. Previously based out of McKinsey’s Hong Kong office, Harrison serves clients across Asia, North America and Europe. His passion is about helping telecommunication and high-tech clients capture the full benefits of large-scale digital transformations, using his in-depth knowledge of IT and operations to help them achieve impact at scale.

He is a core leader of Asians at McKinsey (AAM), a diversity and inclusion group within McKinsey, aimed at fostering and advancing of Asian Americans in the workplace. This group recently released a report: COVID-19 and advancing Asian American recovery that highlighted the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on the Asian American community. He is also on Asia Society’s Global Talent Initiative council.  Harrison has also been a frequent speaker and panel moderator at leading industry events, such as Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona and his work has been cited by leading publications (ABC, CBS, Forbes etc.)

Harrison is a graduate of Cornell University (US), Queen’s University (Canada) and the University of Waterloo (Canada).

Moderator and Chair of the C100 Asian American Career Ceiling Initiative: Peter Young, CEO and President, Young & Partners, Committee of 100 Member

Peter Young is CEO and President of Young & Partners, a boutique investment banking firm focused on the life science and chemical industries. He manages the firm and is actively involved in client transactions and financings. Under his leadership, Young & Partners has established and maintained its position as a highly regarded firm serving the corporate strategy, M&A, restructuring and financing needs of clients worldwide. He was previously head of industry groups at Salomon Brothers, Schroders and Lehman Brothers, a senior private equity executive with J.H. Whitney & Co. and a senior member of Bain & Co., the corporate strategy firm.

Mr. Young received a BA in Economics from Yale, an MS in Accounting from NYU, and MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated as a Baker Scholar. He is a CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He serves on a number of boards of directors, both corporate and non-profit and is President and board member of Société de Chimie Industrielle, a leading life science and chemical industry non-profit organization.

This event was held on October 20th, 2020 from 8 pm to 9 pm ET.

Check out our other Asian American Career Ceiling events here. 

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