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Celebrating AAPI Month (2 of 4) | The Model Minority Myth

A particularly harmful stereotype of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in school and in the workplace is the "model minority" myth. This has sometimes led to assumptions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are overrepresented in leadership roles because they are characterized as being quiet, hard-working, not known to “make waves,” and do not require support. However, this model minority myth has also caused Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to be overlooked and their experiences with racism to be invalidated.

Due to the model minority myth, they are often not seen as material for being “good leaders” because they are thought not to be assertive enough. Yet, often when someone identifying as Asian American or Pacific Islander does speak up at work, their issues are trivialized, or they may be seen as disruptive and then have to deal with someone’s reaction to their ”non-traditional, model minority” behavior.

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