May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and we are happy to celebrate the culture and contributions of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) team and community members. In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month we will highlight contributions of our AAPI team members . So, to get started, we wanted to start with why this matters. Simply put, having a deeper understanding of the experiences of others creates an opportunity for empathy and inclusion.
Stay tuned for spotlights throughout the month as we feature Upwork’s AAPI team members!
Our thoughts continue to be with those in India who are significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as those around the world struggling amid the pandemic. Please reach out to us if you require assistance.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting a few of our talented Asian Pacific American team members. Today, meet Daniel Gu, Senior Director of Data Engineering and Product.
As a first-generation immigrant from an Eastern Asian culture, Daniel has unlearned and learned to navigate a new leadership style in the U.S. that helps him lead teams to experience great successes when valuing different ideas and not believing in only one “right” way of doing things. “The vision to a longer term horizon, the focus on the collective good, and the team empowerment by leading from the back are things I bring to the table from my culture that I’m proud of.”
With all that he has learned and accomplished, Daniel has wise words for the next generation. “We are all stakeholders of this country and nobody should be a bystander. The true strength of this country is the civil and healthy collision of different opinions, ideas, and interests.”
Thank you for sharing your story Daniel!
We’re continuing to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with spotlights from our AAPI team.
Meet Rohit Jain, Senior Director of Finance Systems at Upwork. Or as he describes it, “My role ensures that we are able to run our systems and account for every dollar earned across all lines of business.” It’s not hard for Rohit to pick out what he likes most about his role at Upwork: “One, I get to work with the most amazing people, and two, all that we do at Upwork makes a difference in the lives of the people across the world.”
His success in the workplace has not been without its struggles, though: “In the years prior to Upwork, dating back to the dotcom era, getting the first management role was a challenge because the general expectation during those days was that a person of Indian origin would typically stick to a programming role and had no seat at the management level.”
But he persevered. And his advice to the next generation is to do the same. “Don’t get flustered when you see challenges both personal and professional come your way because tough times never last — tough people do. And, yes, the calmest voice is the strongest in the room!”
Rohit, we’re so glad you’re part of the team!
We’re continuing this week’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month spotlight with Aanchal Sinha Wang, Lead Product Designer at Upwork. She is passionate about not only the work but also her role as a lead. “I love that every day I get to cultivate a strong and vibrant design culture and ensure that my team of designers have a positive environment and the right tools to get their jobs done.”
Aanchal credits her background as key to her success. “I am a proud Indian who moved to the United States after 22 years. I am now married to a Taiwanese man and we are raising a multi-ethnic kid. I have been lucky to be exposed to a wide variety of cultures through family and friends, which brings with it an inherent sense of tolerance and an open mind. I feel my diverse background enables me to appreciate unique perspectives that my colleagues bring to the table.”
Her advice to the next generation? “Be proud of your race and ethnicity! Because your culture brings a unique perspective. Life is so much better when you can own who you are!”
Aanchal, we think you make Upwork a better place!
To close out Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are spotlighting Jacqui Becker, Enterprise Relationship Manager at Upwork, plus Project Manager for special projects across the Enterprise zone.
A key influence in Jacqui’s life and success has been her grandma, Joan. “She told me about the importance of staying positive when times are tough, hard work, not being afraid to go after what I wanted in life, failing forward, and to never forget those who are less fortunate. That guidance has driven me since I was a young child in both my career and my involvement with non-profit organizations.”
Her advice to the next generation echoes what she learned from her grandmother. “Don’t be afraid to take risks. I’ve learned more from trying, failing, picking myself up, and trying again. It’s every hard-fought failure that makes success more meaningful.”
Jacqui, thank you for being part of what makes Upwork great!
Today, and every day, we are grateful for the contributions of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) team and community members.
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