Quantcast is continuing our celebration of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month by shining the spotlight on a valued member of the marketing team, Hannah Teter. In this interview, she shares her perspective on why she embraces an opportunity to celebrate her heritage and history, what cultural values and family traditions mean the most to her, and why diversity is especially valuable in tech.
1. First, tell the world about your role at Quantcast.
I am the Demand Generation Specialist at Quantcast, where I work on all things digital and account-based marketing. I am also a co-chair of Quantcast Women’s Network and am based out of our San Francisco office.
2. As we celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, can you tell us why it’s important to you?
AANHPI month is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to show off my heritage with pride. Being a hapa (someone of mixed ethnic ancestry), I’m not immediately identified as Asian because, quite frankly, I look ambiguous. In reality, inside my own head, I’m dancing with my arms waving in the air, lumpia in one hand, and a karaoke mic in the other!
Being given a chance to celebrate AANHPIHM allows me to honor the history of struggle, courage, determination, and love that my family endured in order to put me in the position I’m in today; living in the States, doing a job I absolutely love. To celebrate this month is to celebrate every ounce of effort our families put in to create the lives we live today; to celebrate the willingness and determination every generation had to push the next one further into a better future.
I celebrate to show my appreciation and respect.
3. What cultural values or traditions are most important to you?
One of the most important cultural values that I hold dear to me is at the core of every Filipino: to share love. You will never meet a Filipino who doesn’t offer you food, drinks, rest, clothes, a plant, a few extra bucks, heck, ‘you need vase, dayong? Here, take this one.’
That’s what you’ll encounter with Filipinos: we’re born to spread our generosity and love; it’s in our blood. We can’t help but want to ensure those around us feel taken care of. We’re natural givers, which is also what makes us great entertainers.
One of my favorite traditions growing up was after dinner we would all sing karaoke; it was a form of “digesting your food.” Was it really? Probably not, but it’s what we did. It puts you on your feet, in front of your family, singing and swaying, and getting quality family time. Those are some of my fondest memories growing up and a tradition I cherish.
4. Do you have any role models who have inspired you?
My role model is my grandfather or as we called him, Papa. He was one of the greatest people who lived. He waited years for my grandmother to finish nursing school in the Philippines and took her to start a family overseas in America, where they raised my mother and auntie, and later helped raise me. He was a stoic, humble, reliable man who made his friends and family always feel welcomed, and who could get anyone to easily laugh. His dad jokes were on a different level, let me tell you; that man was our own personal comedian.
I choose to keep him alive in my life by embodying his values of generosity and kindness, his work-ethics to do well at his job, his innovation and craftsmanship (while I don’t physically build as many things as he does, I transfer the same ingenuity into my digital work) and his reliability to friends and family.
He’s my inspiration everyday.
5. What advice would you give to other AANHPI individuals in tech?
My honest advice to other Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders is to be authentically yourself. If that means your chin raises a little higher with the pride of your heritage, then OWN IT. No one else is like you, no one else has your background and experiences, and that combination of differences is what makes you the best person for your role, or the role you’re going for.
Innovation comes from differences, literally. In tech, we’re always looking for ways to improve and to create something new, but we can’t expect to do that if we don’t introduce new factors or variables into the equation. So don’t hold back from what makes you who you are, because you might very well be that factor that your team needed to build a new component to the project or take it to the next level.
So I say, hold your lumpia up high, sing your favorite song, and be the source of innovation.
In honor of AANHPI Heritage Month, we also featured Tran Pham, our program manager of privacy and identity, so if you missed that employee spotlight, check it out here.