283: Blended – The Rise of Asian Discrimination

It’s episode 23 of Blended: I’m joined by another amazing panel of guests and, today, we’re tackling another really tough issue – Asian disscrimination. Now this is something that many of us, outside of the Asian community, had probably not thought too much about. But when the pandemic hit, putting in some cases a potentially negative light on China, the world saw an eruption of hate and anger towards Asian people that was quite shocking to see, and which has really taken its toll on communities worldwide.

Today, our guests will be exploring exactly what Asian discrimination means and why it happens; sharing their personal experiences; taking a closer look at some of the new initiatives being put into place across America; and discussing how we can start to tackle the issue of Asian discrimination and discrimination in the workplace.



[00.48] Introductions to our Blended panelists.

  • Sharon – Inventory Optimization Consultant
  • Naomi – Senior Manager for Supply Chain Solutions Marketing at Anaplan
  • Gale – Director of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP

[04.34] The group discusses Asian hate, the current surge as a direct result of the pandemic, as well as other examples throughout history, and its impact.

“Education and mindset go hand in hand. When things are subconsciously implanted in you when you’re young, saying ‘this is how things go’, even though you may not agree with them, you still feel that’s the right thing, or it’s supposed to be like that.” Sharon

  • World War 2 and Japanese people
  • Education and mindset
  • Social pressure
  • Other communities look the other way
  • The implications of the words we use
  • Social media algorithms
  • Celebrating all humans
  • Polarized communities
  • Volatile political landscape
  • What is and isn’t within our control

[26.09] The panel shares their personal experiences of Asian hate, and the impact those experiences have had on both themselves and their communities.

“The pandemic has really heightened anxieties, while making people more susceptible to that radicalization than ever before.” Naomi

  • Making the effort to learn and appreciate rich cultures
  • Be kind
  • Appreciating the efforts made by immigrants ie learning a language, facing bigotry
  • Allyship
  • Citizenship
  • Facing painful histories
  • How do we avoid repeating the past?
  • Facts vs misinformation

[42.19] The group explores new initiatives to support Asian communities that are being introduced across America, and whether or not the tide is turning.

According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, hate crimes against Asian people have risen by 339% last year compared with 2020.

  • President Bidens’ new initiative
  • Greater representation in media and positions of power
  • We need diversity of thought
  • Encouraging minorities to speak up
  • States starting to require that Asian American history be taught in public schools
  • Greater consequences for hate crimes
  • Role of the police, safety and lack of trust in authority
  • How do we listen to what the community want/need?

[1.01.30] The panel reflects on what we can all do in the workplace to combat Asian hate and discrimination.

“We need to educate in our actions by having these hard discussions!” Gale

  • Listen to your staff, two-way communication
  • Policies and procedures
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Workplace education and training
  • Allyship
  • Provide resources for local communities
  • Psychological safety
  • Leadership-down culture
  • The great resignation, and choosing brands that align with your own values

[1.10.37] The group sums up their thoughts from today’s discussion.




You can connect with Sharon and Naomi over on LinkedIn, and Gale on Twitter.

If you found this episode interesting, you might enjoy Episode 2, Story of my Life or Episode 5, Black Lives Matter – The History, The Movment, The People.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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