Profiles in Diversity Journal Second Quarter 2021

Page 40


Associate, Corporate Ratings


LEADERS Worth Watching



Job Title: Associate, Corporate Ratings Education: Bachelor of Arts, public policy studies, University of Chicago Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Doug Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 22,500 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York What book are you reading? Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong; Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden What was your first job: Lifeguard Favorite charity: Crisis Text Line

Lessening the Burden of Feeling “Othered” I believe that an authentic way to support the next generation of Asian leaders is to think about how to lessen the burden of feeling “other” in the workplace. For the Asian-American community in particular, this question is layered with the complexity that the AAPI banner represents many distinct nationalities, languages, and histories, and how the AAPI racial identity is rapidly evolving from one generation to the next through the experience of immigration, assimilation, and other changing historic and political contexts. At S&P Global, our APEX employee resource group has been approaching this issue using David Eng and Shinhee Han’s book, Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation: On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans. Through psychoanalytic and literary lenses, the


2021 Second Quarter

book explores what it means to operate in a society that does not reconcile with one’s lived reality, which results in very relatable anxieties, feelings of loss, and constant inward questioning. It can feel exhausting. With the rise in violence, harassment, discrimination, and emboldened hateful rhetoric towards Asian Americans, it can at times feel completely overwhelming, never knowing if you’ll be targeted as an unwelcome foreigner or expected to live up to the myth of the model minority. Representation is critical. So too is creating space for dialogue that acknowledges how harmful it can be to feel “othered.” Simply being heard or finding similar stories in the experiences of others can help relieve the burden of feeling isolated by those difficult feelings. Growing up as a half-Korean, Canadian, and eventually natural-

ized U.S. citizen, I was called a “green card-carrying alien,” and even today others take it upon themselves to decide whether I’m more Asian, white, or other. APEX has provided a space to listen, learn, and lead conversations regarding how to amplify leadership qualities of our Asian colleagues. It’s also been a place to celebrate the cultures and traditions we come from. There is much work to do, but I’m grateful for this recognition and for the opportunity to contribute to my firm’s community. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be in my privileged position today without the pioneering steps taken by minorities who came before me. And I am cognizant of my responsibility to pave the way for others. I look forward to promoting more positive change in the future, as we work towards becoming a more inclusive and just society.


Karen Chu

Articles from Profiles in Diversity Journal Second Quarter 2021