Jane Kim is a creator manager at LinkedIn, and this AAPI month, she's sharing her story and highlighting three fellow Asian-American women who are blazing a path forward.
May is AAPI Heritage Month, and as a proud Korean American, it’s a time for me to reflect on my own heritage and find ways to support, uplift, and celebrate the larger community.
Even though I work in the very diverse city of New York, I’m often in environments where I’m the only Asian woman in the room. I used to feel uncomfortable, thinking I didn't belong and didn't stack up against my peers. And then, I realized that kind of attitude wasn't serving anyone—especially me!
I worked on switching my mindset. I began to use what I learned from the “otherness” I felt to become a more vulnerable, empathetic person, something I've come to celebrate and love about myself.
I now lean into the superpower of having a unique perspective. I provide views my peers may have never encountered. I confidently stay true to myself instead of playing a part to fit into a mould or stereotype that others may expect of me.
By sharing my experiences as a Korean-American woman on LinkedIn, I've had the opportunity to connect with many amazing AAPI creators and allies, who often say my stories resonate with them. With each LinkedIn post, I hope to reach at least one person who will feel seen and understood when reading my words. I want to advocate for and connect with others in my industry, community, and beyond.
I also seek inspiration from others, such as the three AAPI LinkedIn Creators below. They all use their platform to celebrate their culture and advocate for the next generation of professionals to bring their full selves to work.
Maria Lee: The Advertising Executive Using Her Platform to Combat Asian Hate
Maria Lee is a world-recognized Creative Director who taps into her skills and passions to come up with creative solutions. Beyond her professional expertise (earning her Creative Director of the Year in the 2021 Ad Age A-List and Creativity Awards), Maria addresses critical issues, such as engaging her LinkedIn audience to garner much-needed support for the #StopAsianHate campaign.
Maria leads important conversations around race and xenophobia and mentors others on how they can better service the Asian American community year round, noting that “being able to celebrate our diversity, recognize our accomplishments, and give back to the community all year long through LinkedIn, has been a transformative experience for me.” For example, to help build Project Honor, Maria used LinkedIn to “connect with over a dozen incredible AAPI leaders to share their powerful personal stories,” helping raise funds for various AAPI non-profits.
Carissa Begonia: The Woman Empowering Asian Americans to Secure a Seat at the Table
Carissa Begonia is a DEI keynote speaker who coaches Asians on leadership, entrepreneurship, and mental health. Carissa knows what it’s like to be the only Asian woman in the room, and her mission is to help others secure a seat at the table and develop a strong voice to advocate for themselves and others in the workplace. She notes that she’s “used so many LinkedIn tools for creators including LinkedIn Live videos to teach and engage with fellow AAPI leaders” and connect with other DEI leaders.
In addition to sharing practical advice, Carissa understands the strength of community. She has seen firsthand how sharing personal stories—like this powerful post about the life-changing effects that came from an encounter at the age of nine—can resonate and inspire others. She notes, “LinkedIn has been a safer space for me to share some intimate thoughts and stories of my experiences as an Asian American woman as compared to other social media platforms because people maintain a level of professionalism since they can't hide their racism behind an avatar. By showing up vulnerably on the platform, people, in turn, have shared such heartfelt messages about how something I said supported them, inspired them, or gave them permission to also speak up for themselves and others.”
Yiying Lu: The Designer Bridging the Gap Between Art and Tech One Dumpling and Boba Emoji at a Time
If you’ve ever used the dumpling or boba tea emoji before, you have Yiying Lu to thank. From the Twitter Whale to the Disney Shanghai Mickey Mouse, Yiying Lu creates iconic designs and brands that transcend linguistic barriers, unite people, and enchant audiences around the world. Yiying notes that “Linkedin has been an empowering platform for me to reach a global community while being my true self and creating content that I am passionate about.”
On LinkedIn, Yiying Lu talks about her journey as an artist and how the integration of design and technology has the opportunity to teach us about different cultures, connect people on a global scale, inspire togetherness, and cultivate community.
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