To celebrate Black History Month, Glassdoor will highlight several influential Black employees within our BUILD ERG (Blacks, United, In Leadership and Development) across the customer success, content, engineering, product verticals throughout February. These leaders are diverse, passionate, and driven and are incredible examples of Black Excellence.
Meet Nonso Maduka, a product director in the consumer product organization at Glassdoor; he’s been with the company for over two years. In his role, he’s responsible for guiding product teams to help people find a job and company they love by building engaging user experiences across Glassdoor’s web, mobile app, and email platforms. He also serves as the Community Lead for Glassdoor’s Black employee resource group, BUILD.
Maduka is a Nigerian-born, Maryland-bred, East Coast transplant passionate about solving challenging problems that make people’s lives better. He built products that help people make better financial decisions, invested his time in a non-profit organization centered around educational access, and currently focuses on increasing diverse representation in the tech sector.
We sat down for a Q&A with Maduka to learn more about his career trajectory, Nigerian background, and thoughts on what Black Excellence means to him.
Q: Share your career journey. What led you down the path of your current profession?
Early on, I knew I wanted to work with technology and, more specifically, to use tech to solve challenging problems. I studied electrical engineering in college and then entered the financial industry as a fixed-income securities trader. Starting right at the onset of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, my first years were chaotic and stressful and an incredible learning opportunity. I’m appreciative of gaining a better understanding of the world’s interconnectedness and the significant macro issues that can impact us all.
After a few years, I decided to jump more earnestly into tech as a career. After getting my MBA, I started my next chapter in product management, where I’ve spent my time building product solutions for tough and important consumer problems. I now love the opportunity at Glassdoor to create experiences that give people everywhere the information they need to make the best possible career decisions.
Q: How has your cultural background shaped your professional and personal journey?
I’m Nigerian-born and American-raised, and those dual parts of my identity have heavily influenced my journey. Education was paramount in my house growing up, but what was stressed even further was not shying away from living up to your potential despite obstacles. The immigrant story – and the story of Black people in America – is one of collective resiliency. It’s not about success for the sake of it or solely about individual achievement; it’s about nurturing and celebrating your intrinsic abilities and then paying it forward by helping others realize their greatness as well. This sentiment has driven me to invest my luck and success into helping others rise as well. Jay-Z said it best – “[I] only spot a few blacks the higher I go…that ain’t enough we gonna need a million more.”
Q: Do you feel that Glassdoor has celebrated and supported your cultural identity and surrounding community, and if so, how has it successfully done that? If not, how could it do so better?
Glassdoor is a great place to work, and I’ve felt welcome, supported, and nurtured since day one. I appreciate that the company actively celebrates the differences that make our employees special and invests in creating positive spaces. That said, like many corporations, Glassdoor still has work to do. There are still challenges in representation, especially at senior levels, and creating a truly equitable environment. Still, what I’ve found unique about Glassdoor is the authentic willingness of the leadership team to not only listen to concerns but take meaningful action to improve. There is a deep commitment, both publicly and privately, to be a driving force for good in the world, especially when it comes to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. I see this in the changes we’ve made to our product experience to help job seekers and in the internal investments we’re making to nurture and support all employees no matter their background.
Q: What does Black History Month mean to you, and how are you planning to celebrate this year?
To me, Black History Month is about making room to celebrate Black people in America, reflect on how far we’ve come, and inspire the bright future we seek to create. While this shouldn’t be confined to one month, I think it’s important that we carve out dedicated time as a mile marker on the journey we have towards a more inclusive and equitable world for Black people. The introspection we engage in during this time will become the fuel for the next stage of growth. This year, I’m excited to celebrate by supporting institutions, organizations, and businesses dedicated to the future success of our community.
Q: This month’s Black History Month’s theme is Black Excellence. How do you define Black Excellence?
The beauty of Black Excellence is in its multifaceted nature. It’s the creativity that breaks new barriers and challenges us to think differently. It’s the love that holds us together, even in the darkest of times. It’s the unshakeable positivity that enables us to realize what can be, despite difficult current circumstances. It’s the ingenuity and resilience that allows us to reach new heights no matter the barrier’s size consistently. It’s the multiplier effect that makes two better for everyone. It grounds us in our vibrant past, guides us in our hopeful present, and pulls us towards a better future.
Q: How do you feel about being the Community Lead for Glassdoor’s BUILD ERG? How is BUILD positively impacting Diversity & Inclusion at Glassdoor?
Being a member of BUILD’s leadership team has been a gratifying experience. I’m inspired by my fellow teammates every day and believe we’re creating something special at Glassdoor. In my role as Community Lead, I get to think about how we can extend the work we’re doing internally out into our broader communities by working with amazing organizations that are on the front lines of driving change for the Black community. Internally, I see BUILD as being the haven where people can come together to celebrate and support the Black community at Glassdoor. The work we do as an ERG every day helps motivate Glassdoor to continue evolving to a safe, open, and trustworthy place for all.