And globally there is a shortfall in the number of Asians at the helm of corporations, even though six of the top 20 economies in the world by gross domestic product are in the Far East.
But there are signs this situation could change with the Millennial generation.
For one, Asian businesses are entering new, non-Asian markets at a greater pace than ever before - giants like Huawei Technologies and Alibaba are just two examples - and the region itself is increasing its share of the world economy. China had 95 companies in Fortune's 2014 Global 500 list, while India had eight. A decade earlier, the same tally was 15 and four respectively.
Also, the generation now hitting the labor market is Asia's most international and connected to date, with a grip of technology and global trends that could put them ahead in a quickly-evolving business environment. With 83 percent of smartphone penetration, Asian Millennials top their counterparts in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
And they're getting management experience earlier. A survey by Ernst & Young of eight countries published this year pointed to a greater proportion of Millennial-age managers in Asia, relative to peers elsewhere. In India, 85 percent of millennials polled by E&Y said they managed other employees, compared with 39 percent of respondents in the U.S. In China the ratio was 58 percent.
But this surfeit of youthful ambition may need to be tempered if Asians are to achieve their dream of making it to the boardroom, because they risk missing key experiences along the way.
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Securing and keeping skilled managers in China particularly is a problem for international employers, said Jonathan Quioco, a Tokyo-based recruiter at Robert Walters. China's youngest employees, who grew up experiencing an economic boom, are among those with the highest career expectations and greatest job mobility, looking for quick recognition for their work in the form of promotion, Quioco said.
"Asians across the board are very title-driven, there is social pressure to have or to want a higher title," he said. "The biggest problem for companies hiring in China is retention. It's common for employees to receive higher salaries or titles from the competition. Typically their employers counter-offer."
This focus on prestige titles may backfire, warns Peter Udall, a director at MSA Learning in Hong Kong, as it can lower workers' chances of personal development and being attached to interesting projects.
"If you are moving from job to job to get a title, you don't develop the skills," said Udall, a recruiter and adviser to companies on staff development. "It's not a strategic move but a tactical one. These people end up being stagnant."
Even with these risks though, Vinika Rao, a director at the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, a think tank in Singapore, believes the latest generation of Asia workers are destined for success.
"Asian Millennials are well educated, but are also more comfortable with the diverse workforce that they will have to deal with as managers than were previous generations," she said. "We will see more leaders coming out of Asia.