September 2, 2018

Bridging the Gap in Asian Leadership – Asian Executive Panel

by Jagraj Shrestha in GUC Blog

Strong, successful organizations often have a common denominator – the ability of its leadership team to be candid about their collective strengths and weaknesses.

The Global Upside Corporation Co-Founder and CEO Ragu Bhargava joined E&Y, Kaiser PermanentePG&E, and SAP for a panel on leadership. The speakers shared their personal journey to the top and provided practical leadership advice to 300+ professionals.

Executives from Ernst & Young (E&Y), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Kaiser Permanente, SAP, and Global Upside got candid about an often sidelined but important question – why are there so few Asian leaders in corporate America and how do you bridge the gap?

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Photo credit: Henry Chen

Speaking to a packed house, Ragu Bhargava opened the session with his immigrant story and what it took for him to break the glass ceiling to become the CFO of a leading company and eventually co-found the Global Upside Corporation and its 4 companies.

While Ragu and his peers on the panel did make the cut, they acknowledged how hard it was for them and continues to be for many Asian professionals to face biases and change perceptions.

According to the panelists, communication, networking, and social skills are key to help you make warm relationships. Here are a few tips Ragu and his fellow panelists shared with the young professionals.

  • Have confidence and take risks
  • Go to meetings with a point of view and speak up
  • Strive to change perspective of “work-life jungle” to “work-life balance”
  • Be cognizant of unconscious biases even towards same ethnicities and/or gender
  • Reframe the idea of self-promoting into stepping into a position to be able to help others
  • Work on making your brand and ensure this brand is the impression others perceive of you

Learn more about the panel and see pictures here.

Connect with Ragu or Gita Bhargava on LinkedIn and hear more about their journey to success.

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