Current News

Past Issues
Issue 1

Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians
Overview & Book Signing Event with Author Jane Hyun

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Time: TBD
Location: NYC-Specific Location TBD - Watch for details via AWLN Emails
RSVP: By May 13 via email to

Author, Executive Career Coach and Diversity Trainer Jane Hyun will provide an overview of her new book, Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians, and autograph copies.  Watch for details via AWLN emails!

Spelman College’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LEADS)
2nd Annual Women of Color Leadership Conference
“Embracing Our Differences”

Spelman College’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LEADS) will host its 2nd Annual Women of Color Leadership Conference on May 11-12, 2005, in Atlanta, Georgia.  In this two-day conference, leaders from the private and public sector will come together to dispel myths associated to women of color and discuss subtle forms of discrimination that are unique to Asian/Pacific American, Native American, Black/African American, and Latina/Hispanic women.  The conference will also provide key professional development seminars that will enhance leadership and career skills such as “Identifying and Building Your Sphere of Influence” and “Thriving Through the Performance Evaluation Process”.

Key Asian/Pacific American women speakers include:

  • Irene Natividad, President of Globewomen Inc. and Co-Chair of Corporate Women Directors International

  • Jane Hyun, Executive Coach, Diversity Strategist, and Author of Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling

  • Susan Au Allen, President and CEO of the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Asian Pacific Islander

  • Mae Cheng, Newsday and UNITY: Journalist of Color, Inc.

Join more than 1,000 women of color leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors as they rethink the realm of possibilities for women of color and leadership development in the 21st century.

For more information, please go to:

Hold the Dates!

Working Mother Media Women of Color Conference & AWLN Workshop

July 20-21, 2005, in New York City

AWLN will host a workshop session and meeting at this year’s Women of Color Conference.  Watch for details in upcoming issues of AWLN News and member emails.

AWLN: Growing Fast!

AWLN was founded on July 21, 2004, by a small group of Asian women who met at Working Mother Media’s Best Companies for Women of Color Annual Conference.  At that conference, the Asian women held a meeting and voiced their need for an organization for Asian women to network with each other, share best practices and help Asian women advance their careers.

The Kick-off Meeting was held in October of 2004, and in the less than six months since that event, this thriving organization has rapidly grown to over 130 members!  During that short time, AWLN has already held events including:

  • Catalyst’s presentation on Asian Women in the Workplace

  • Building the Leadership Pipeline Workshop hosted by author Phoebe Eng

  • Asian Women Executive Live Panel Discussion moderated by author Jane Hyun

  • Two networking events held in New York

We’re preparing to launch our own website, coordinating with Working Mother Media for future workshops and panels, planning events in multiple locations, developing mentoring opportunities and hosting monthly events to meet the needs of our membership.

Our organization is growing fast and we hope you will help us continue to grow!  Spread the word to others you know who might be interested in joining AWLN.  Our mission, goal, objectives and membership requirements can be found at

Making Your Company’s Employee Networking Group Better and Bigger

By Sweet Joy Hachuela, CEO, Global Point Consulting

Many companies today have affinity groups or employee networking groups as part of their diversity initiatives.  They have been essential in promoting diversity in the company and also can strengthen business strategies by helping to identify new markets, produce innovative products, and create an integrated corporate culture.

There are 4 strategies to effectively develop and manage your employee networking group for success.

  1. Linkage to Corporate and Business Functions
    In order to be seen as a critical asset to the company, your employee networking group must define and implement strategies that prove value to the company.  Your employee networking group can partner with corporate and business functions, such as Human Resources and Marketing and Product Development, to boost the company’s profit, increase innovation, and provide effective recruitment and retention strategies.  Once the company sees your employee networking group’s value, it is more willing to give funding and resources to support your group’s activities and development.

  2. Developing a Succession Plan and Leadership Pipeline
    In most employee networking groups, only a few people are constantly doing the work.  This can often lead to burn-out and key leaders leaving with no replacements. Employee networking groups often lose momentum and can become inactive during such transitions.  It is important to develop a succession plan when choosing new leadership and providing training to potential leaders within the membership to ensure your group remains active and effective.

  3. Partner with Other Employee Networking Groups
    Partnering with other employee networking groups such as African American/Black and GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) employee networks enables sharing of resources and best practices.  The collaborations lead to promoting an inclusive workplace, increasing the number of participants in your events and expanding networking beyond your own employee networking group.

  4. Promote your Employee Networking Group and its benefits to membership
    Promoting the existence and benefits to your employee networking group within your company is essential in increasing membership and support with employees and managers.  Most groups often promote themselves through various cultural events, professional development seminars, company expos, and word of mouth.

Mentoring, Part 1:  What Is Mentoring?

By Sunita Chaudhuri and Janice Won

This article is the first in a series of articles on mentoring.

Mentoring is defined as a relationship that focuses on professional development.  It is an interactive process that enables a protégé and mentor to work towards specific goals.  A protégé identifies development needs that require advice and support beyond what a manager can provide in daily feedback and coaching.  A mentor provides meaningful insights and feedback to help the protégé attain those goals.  The mentoring pair meets on a regular basis - either in person or by phone or email.  The mentor and protégé must be open and honest, and need to trust each other in order to have productive conversations.  A successful mentoring relationship requires the dedication and commitment on the part of both individuals.

A Mentoring Story: Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor

Elaine’s primary mentor was her father.  He encouraged her and provided advice and counsel by helping her think through the problem on her own.  He said “If I only help you solve your immediate challenge, and not help you understand the underlying principle this particular challenge entailed, you will never learn to resolve situations on your own.”  Elaine’s father came to America as an immigrant and suffered discrimination and financial hardship, yet he instilled in Elaine a strong sense of self esteem and a belief that individuals could shape their own destiny. (Matilda Raffa Cuomo, The Person Who Changed My Life, Barnes and Nobles Books, 2002)

Future articles will focus on defining the benefits and roles/responsibilities, debunking mentoring myths and describing successful mentoring relationships.  Please send us your mentoring stories and questions, and we will address them in upcoming articles.  Email us at

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Share Your Story!

In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed.  On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration.

In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.  The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students.  This year’s theme is ‘Freedom for All-A Nation We Call Our Own.’

AWLN wants to know how you celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in your community and what impact those events have had on your career development.  Email us at to share your experience and news of events to celebrate this month in your area.