Technician of Indian origin accuses Meeta of anti-Asian bias and files a lawsuit
NEW YORK, July 12 (IANS) An Indian-American executive from Singapore has filed a lawsuit with the California Department of Civil Rights accusing Meta of racial discrimination that has cost her promotions and job prospects.
Vaishnavi Jayakumar, 36, who joined Meeta in January 2020 after stints at Disney, Google and Twitter, said she was chastised for asking how to move up the ranks at Meeta, letting go of opportunities, and putting her below less experienced colleagues.
“I have never felt more anxious, as an Asian woman, to be a worker, not destined to be a leader,” Jayakumar wrote in a recent LinkedIn post, adding that last month she faced “my vengeful termination in meta disguised as mass layoffs.” .
As Meta’s Head of Youth Policy, Jayakumar was responsible for managing the team that provided guidance on age-appropriate policies and product features across all Meta applications.
“Everything went well for the first two years. I have been working hard with my colleagues to improve the well-being of young people on Instagram and other identification services, and have received positive feedback,” Jayakumar said in her long post.
However, two years later when she inquired about an upgrade, she said she had encountered the familiar “bamboo roof” Asian Americans encounter.
According to Jayakumar, her manager suddenly began giving racially coded negative remarks, claiming that she was not old enough to lead, despite Jayakumar claiming she had more experience than the other candidates.
Jayakumar’s complaint cited a 2022 study by Ascend, a network of Asian and Pacific Islander professionals, which said 49 percent of Metta’s workforce is Asian, but only 25 percent of its executives are Asian.
Meta fired more than 11,000 employees at the end of 2022, followed by another 10,000 positions in another round of mass layoffs in March this year. Jayakumar’s complaint is just one among a growing number of lawsuits filed by Asian Americans in the tech industry calling for action against long-standing racial prejudice in Silicon Valley.
According to USA Today, Jayakumar is calling for Meta to make policy changes, from tracking promotion rates for Asian Americans to coaching managers on tropes and stereotypes about Asian American employees.
Meta has so far declined to comment.