Why aren't Asians/Indians/Middle Eastern considered diversity

This isn't a post to bash diversity programs or anything like that - I am just genuinely curious.


Comments (92)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 22, 2020 - 8:14pm

For east/south asians it's that they're overrepresented as a proportion of the overall population (ignoring that there are many different ethnic groups under the 'asian' umbrella). Middle-eastern individuals are counted as white for some reason so there's that lol. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Oct 22, 2020 - 8:17pm

No clue why middle easterners aren't diversity. Definitely under represented in finance and socially discrimination against them has increased dramatically in the past 20 years

Most Helpful
Oct 22, 2020 - 8:38pm

Because diversity programs aren't meant to actually achieve diversity, they're just for optics so companies can say they're helping "underprivileged" groups. Nobody perceives Asians and Indians as being underprivileged or needing help because they're generally very high performing groups. If you're following the Harvard admissions lawsuits you'll see that Asians consistently outperform every other racial group in terms of standardized test scores, to the point where they are discriminated against in admissions because they would occupy too many seats otherwise

  • Analyst 2 in CorpDev
Oct 23, 2020 - 2:03pm

And those who do not perform well academically will not be represented because they don't fit the mold (a high achieving academic). The point of diversity is to give underrepresented groups who performed just as well as those who are adequately/over represented an equal chance to succeed, it is not meant to give underperforming prospects a position just because they are diverse. 

Oct 22, 2020 - 9:35pm

Because they're very overrepresented in finance (in terms of their population proportion). If black people all of a sudden became overrepresented, these programs wouldn't accept them anymore too. Also why first generation, LGBT, and those with disabilities are considered diversity/underrepresented. 

Oct 24, 2020 - 9:27am

What do you mean "perceived." It's a hard fact that Wall Street has been extremely discriminatory towards black people. These diversity programs were to try to encourage them to come in since the environment has been historically, and likely still today, bad for them. There's been studies done where resumes with ethnic names or hints perform worse than "white sounding" ones as well. 


Oct 23, 2020 - 9:02am

Because the way the US thinks about diversity is completely broken.

It likes to make generalizations of a wide group of people and lump them together as being 1 group.

Also, pretty racist that they even care about what race you are. Quoting Bill Maher, "If you ever want to make the next Schindler's List, just start measuring the racial breakdown of your company. Oh wait we're already doing that"


  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 23, 2020 - 2:54pm

Milton Friedchickenman

Also, pretty racist that they even care about what race you are. Quoting Bill Maher, "If you ever want to make the next Schindler's List, just start measuring the racial breakdown of your company. Oh wait we're already doing that"


To me that really only applies in how you're using that data. If you build a bias system built upon exclusion, then obviously a comparison to Schindler's List seems comparable. But to use that breakdown to make allocation decisions for resources is what we do in everything. There's nothing inherently wrong in racial stats unless they're used inappropriately. Everyone treats diversity as some sort of social vision of perfection of how to achieve social success. What if it's simply to expand the way we do education in this country?

Oct 23, 2020 - 4:00pm

You kind of have a point but it's really a slippery slope.

Diversity and inclusion has always been that no one should care what the color of your skin, ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation you are (the way you're born). So to collect stats on it and to "try to achieve" some poorly defined goal just doesn't make any sense to me. Once you start collecting stats, whonknows how you can use it? The tone of the country can easily change and people can start using it for terrible things.

The French banned collection of racial and ethnic stats as part of their Constitution. They're still struggling with personal racism there, but at least they completely eliminated future prospects for institutional racism.


Oct 23, 2020 - 9:30am

I think it is true the statement about companies really not caring about achieving REAL diversity. 

But I also think that it is a numbers game. These are completely made up numbers, but say the US population is 5% Asian, and finance is comprised of 10% asians, then wouldn't really be underrepresented minority, if that makes senses. 

I don't agree with it for the reasons others have stated. "Asian" to Americans is just one big group that lumps every country together regardless of their particular representation. 


  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 23, 2020 - 1:58pm


Yes, it's true that there are a decent bit of Asian/Indian/ME in banking. However, I've always been bothered by how few are VP-level and above. Anyone else noticed this or is it just my sector?  Tons of Asians in banking at analyst/associate levels.....very very few Asian MDs....kind of BS

Yeah, it's because diversity is only racist against asians/me when it benefits blacks, but at management levels where the white position is more secure, who cares about asians.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Oct 27, 2020 - 11:11am

It's because all the Indian VP and up levels are working in tech funds or high-level execs in tech companies. Ofc I am talking about the first wave of Indians (i.e. the ones that immigrated here after studying engineering or math). It will be interesting to see how the next generation of Indians will place.   

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Oct 23, 2020 - 10:07am

I can tell you having been on both sides of the fence (Indian / Chinese trying to break in and now that I'm in, seeing how hiring works), Indians and Chinese males have found themselves in the happy position of the 'worst of both worlds'.  They're not good ol' boys with a country club membership whose dads know the MD and they aren't great candidates for the picture of the front page of bank's websites showing all the different colours and genders.  

Oct 23, 2020 - 9:34pm

Absolutely spot-on. I've noticed this with a lot of Chinese/Indian coworkers. They can get hired because of great grades and a diligent work ethic. However, they can't seem to break through to the senior ranks in large numbers because the people doing the hiring are largely white males who subconsciously (sometimes consciously) favour other white males for promotion because of similar backgrounds, shared interests, or pandering to a largely older, white client base.

Oct 25, 2020 - 2:04pm

Yup exactly....there is a perception that if you're not part of the good old boys crowd of watching football, playing golf, and hanging out at the country club, you won't be able to sell products/services to management teams that are largely part of that same clique.

In my opinion, one thing that gets overlooked is that this stuff doesn't matter when everyone promotes homogeneous candidates to MD. I've personally seen this play out: MD from GS comes by and talks about college football, MD from BAML stops by and talks about college football, same for the next 5 or 6 banks in a row. Being part of the good ole boy network doesn't help if everyone else is also....

If the 7th MD came by and talked about M&A and mentioned watching cricket this weekend, hell I would enjoy a different conversation for once! Also, in many ways, the good ole boy promotion approach underestimates management teams. Most are highly educated people with varied interests outside of just football, golf, and the country club in the 21st century, yet it feels like MD promotion cater to management teams from the 1950s.

Oct 23, 2020 - 7:38pm

Because Steven Wonder is head of HR

"Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes." -U.S. Navy General Farragut
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:20am

My biggest issue is that "Hispanic/Latino" is generally separated from white in the US. It is like someone in Brazil saying "North American" is a race.

Ex: Nancy Pelosi would not be Hispanic in the US, but Pope Francis would, despite both being of Italian descent. (Pope Francis was born in Argentina.) Similarly, an ethnically Japanese person from Sao Paulo or Lima would be considered "diversity" but if they came directly from Tokyo they would not. I don't understand how the former person faces systemic disadvantages versus the latter person.

I think the whole Hispanic/Latino thing should go away and be replaced with actual racial origin. It could be Caucasian, African, South or East Asian, or Mixed Amerindian. Many LatAm countries are extremely racially diverse, and (for example) blacks in Brazil arguably have it far worse than blacks in the US. Everyone on this site agrees that a second+ generation white Spaniard girl whose dad is an MD has pretty much everything going her way, both in terms of recruiting and general life. OOOH, an Indian or Chinese boy faces some prejudice in regular society (i.e. "go back to your country") and has an uphill battle in recruiting/college.

That being said, I occasionally read a couple pro-diversity articles online. I immediately stop when they use "Latinx."



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