Q&A: Nielsen’s Mariko Carpenter Discusses Combatting Anti-Asian Racism with Facts

In mid-March, Nielsen’s (No. 20 on Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity) vice president of strategic community alliances Mariko Carpenter was walking her dog around her block in New York City. It was the first time she went out during the pandemic wearing a face mask. Suddenly, she heard a man begin yelling at her from across the street. His exact words were a blur, Carpenter said, but his message was clear: “Go back to China.”

Carpenter, who is of Japanese ancestry, has lived in New York for almost her whole life and is raising two daughters there. She was shocked by the encounter, and after discussions with her family, friends and various groups at Nielsen, decided to write an op-ed about her experience. “It’s Time for Facts, Not Fear: Asian-Americans Are Doing Their Part” outlines the reality of many Asian Americans as it related to the coronavirus crisis: They’re often on the frontlines fighting it.

Carpenter spoke with Fair360, formerly DiversityInc’s Olivia Riggio about her experience, her op-ed, and the metrics Nielsen is sharing about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

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