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 Reginald Missouri, a solutions consultant at Glassdoor, and supports clients with data-driven insights that inform talent brand strategy. For nearly two years, he has supported both clients both domestic and international while based out of the Mill Valley headquarters. In addition to his day to day responsibilities, he has been a Business Lead pillar for BUILD for a year.
In addition to his strong background in marketing strategy and text analytics, he also specializes in natural language processing technologies that provide sentiment analysis across unstructured data sources focused on employee branding. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, studying, spending time with his family, and occasionally traveling.
We sat down for a Q&A with Missouri to learn more about his career trajectory, how he’s celebrating Black History Month and thoughts on what Black Excellence means to him.
Q: Share your career journey. What led you down the path of your current profession?
Reginald Missouri: My initial dream was to become a criminal defense attorney, as social justice has always been my passion. When I got accepted into law school, I realized the legal field wasn’t the right path for me, so I walked the earth a bit searching for my career calling. In 2004, I landed a gig as a webmaster (back when that was a thing), and Google Adwords was really starting to take off. I fell into the deep end with digital marketing, and that led to several opportunities, including becoming a panel speaker for Digital Marketing seminars for local businesses provided by AT&T Advertising Solutions. Through a culmination of providing subject matter expertise, consulting, managing a sales team, and acquiring new technical skill sets across the various organizations I joined, I discovered my passion for strategizing with businesses to deliver premium solutions to everyday problems for both businesses and consumers.
Q: Speak a bit about your cultural background. How has your heritage shaped your professional and personal journey?
Missouri: Culture is a fascinating thing for me because there was a point in my life when I valued being able to relate to other cultures more than my own. I have traveled worldwide and have lived in two different countries where I had to adapt to different cultural backgrounds. My view of the world has shifted in that while I still appreciate different cultures, I find value in fully embracing my own way of life, whether others can relate to it or not. My faith is a part of my culture, and I identify 100% as a Son of The Most High God and 100% as a Black man; both my faith and community have helped me along the way. I’ve had to fight through a unique set of challenges and adversity that impact me socially, economically, politically, and spiritually. If it were not for those before me who made a way to bring my unique attributes to the table, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
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?
Missouri: Out of all the places where I have worked, Glassdoor definitely ranks at the top when celebrating and supporting my black cultural identity. I have had the privilege of seeing firsthand how Glassdoor helps its Black employees and gives input around how it is communicated internally and externally. The company has been successful in this regard. It shows through all the roundtables the company has sponsored, Christian’s (Christian Sutherland Wong, CEO of Glassdoor) responsiveness to our needs, workshops, book clubs, education panels, and enhancing recruiting efforts to hire more Black employees. As with most things, there is always room for improvement, but in general, I believe Glassdoor recognizes it can do more and is already working towards that.
Q: What does Black History Month mean to you, and how are you planning to celebrate this year?
Missouri: Black History Month is a time where I reflect on the accomplishments and achievements of Blacks in America. Our community has made a huge contribution historically and continues to influence our nation through pop culture, fashion, politics, sports, music, entertainment, science, technology, and so much more. With the ongoing misrepresentation of Black people in the media, it is easy to overlook these contributions. Black History Month serves as a small reminder of who we are and how we should be represented throughout the year. While not restricted to just February, I will be focusing on supporting Black-owned businesses and continuing self-education.
Q: This month’s Black History Month’s theme is Black Excellence. How do you define Black Excellence?
Missouri: Black Excellence is the outcome of a people that have been historically disenfranchised, oppressed, hated, discriminated against, and despite all of that, continues to successfully rise against all odds to be the very best it can be. On an individual level, it’s the best version of you while overcoming the unique and ongoing obstacles the Black community faces.
Q: How do you feel about being the Business Lead for Glassdoor’s BUILD ERG? How is BUILD positively impacting Diversity & Inclusion at Glassdoor?
Missouri: Being a Business Lead for Glassdoor’s BUILD ERG has been a learning experience. It has helped me understand my own strengths and allowed me to build relationships with people outside of my team. In my time serving as Business Lead, I have discovered a genuine desire by the company to understand Black employees' issues better. It is refreshing to see the support from the many conversations BUILD and the company have had. Although BUILD is one of the newer ERGs, it continues to positively impact Diversity and Inclusion at Glassdoor by pioneering the means to assess what all people of color are dealing with in the workplace and collaborating with other ERGs in finding a viable solution for everyone.