I used to feel US is a less class-conscious society than China or Singapore. Anyone can make it in this “free”, meritocratic country. Then “insiders” tell me about the old boy’s circle, and the alumni circles on Wall St.
I feel in any unequal, hierarchical society, there are invisible walls between social strata. I was lucky to be an immigrant in technology. If I step out of tech into management, I am likely to face class, racial bias/affinity and … I would
no longer be “in-demand” as in tech. Look at the number of Chinese managers in GS. Many make VP but few rise further.
Therefore the tech role is a sweet spot for an immigrant techie like me. Beside Tech, a few professions are perhaps less hierarchical – trading, medical, academic, research(?), teaching …