Episode 91 • 05/16/2024

Sue Ann Hong-Whitaker, President & CEO of the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW), on ending Sexism, Racism, and All Other -isms

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During this AANHPI Heritage Month, we need to ask ourselves: What can we do to end systemic sexism, racism, and any other ism that divides us and robs groups of opportunities?

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Sue Ann Hong-Whitaker, President & CEO at the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW).

Sue Ann discusses:

  • How she flew to the U.S. on her own as a child, which taught her how to be independent, resilient, and adaptable.
  • How CAPAW’s founder, Martha Lee, wanted to address the persistent sexism and racism that plagues Asian women professionals.
  • How AANHPI women are more likely to keep quiet, keep their heads down, and do a good job, but not ask for what they want; THIS holds them back.
  • How Sue Ann had a successful career working for a Fortune 50 company, but because of a reorganization and threats to her health from the lifestyle, she decided to make a change, and that’s when she became CEO of CAPAW.
  • The mental shift of going from a large Fortune 50 company to a small non-profit with a tiny staff.
  • How her number one job at CAPAW is to build relationships.
  • How she became activated when the Atlanta Spa shootings occurred.
  • CAPAW’s signature programs: The sHERO program and the APAWLI program. The sHERO program is for all women of color, with 5 or fewer years of experience in the professional workforce. The APAWLI program focuses on leadership and targets mid-career professionals who are looking to move up or explore their careers in a new and different way.
  • To end racism, sexism, ageism, and all other -isms, organizations must partner to focus on solving these issues. CAPAW is focused on these partnerships.


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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!