From Soyoung Kang, Chief Marketing Officer, eos Products
We would love to learn more about your background and origin story. As Asian American or Pacific Islander, has your experience in this industry impacted your career journey? If so, how?
My family immigrated to this country from Korea when I was two years old, with just enough to live on for a few months. My parents came for a better life for their children, which presumably meant a stable, respected career as a doctor or lawyer (the very question I was asked throughout my childhood!). But what they gave me by coming here was so much more than any of us could have imagined….by dropping a fairly precocious child into this environment of a new culture, new language, new norms, they created in me a deep curiosity to understand and decode human behavior, to master language and communication, to excel in pattern recognition. I can’t think of a more natural fit for a marketer!
Under 10% of marketers in the U.S. identify as Asian, making this panel of leaders even more impressive. What is your advice to the industry to narrow the gap and create more leadership opportunities for Asians?
If you de-average that 10% figure for levels within the organization, you’ll see that those numbers get much, much smaller at the top. And what is true for all under-represented groups is that visibility and representation at the top matters. The industry needs to do is to ensure that its leaders – in the C-suite and in the boardroom – reflect the diversity of our teams, our customers, and our communities, across all levels.
Given the significant rise in hate crimes toward the individual in the AAPI community, what can the industry do to protect the community?
I’m so proud to be part of an industry whose very existence is about creating change – changing minds, changing behaviors. That means we have a great opportunity to create broader cultural change by being more representative and inclusive in the stories we tell.