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 Ron Brown, a senior content and community fraud associate at Glassdoor. Starting his third year remotely in Uniontown, Ohio, Brown works with Glassdoor’s talented fraud team helping to remove and prevent fraudulent activity from appearing on Glassdoor’s content pages. He enjoys helping to maintain transparency for job seekers who are searching for the right employer to join. In addition to having a full workload, he’s also the education lead for BUILD and is passionate about working side by side with BUILD leadership to create a model for allyship.
Ron is inspired by his wife, children, and his best friend and dog Kosar. We sat down for a Q&A with Brown to learn more about his career, his plans to celebrate 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?
A: I actually never imagined myself wanting to work in the tech industry; I always wanted to be a sports anchor/ reporter. I worked at a small local station in Ohio for a few years while working as a retail manager. I eventually ended up doing criminal background checks. I really liked the investigative nature in that field, and my wife saw that Glassdoor was looking for someone in fraud. I loved everything about the job description and was also excited that this would be a continuation of helping people find a job or career that they were looking for.
Q: How has your cultural background shaped your professional and personal journey?
A: I grew up in a very diverse area and always valued that. I was lucky enough to have a great foundation with a mom and dad that taught my sister and me to love our skin color and who we are and be comfortable and proud about what makes us who we are. I learned early that being a black male, I would have to work harder than others to get the same opportunity. I also learned that I would be the only person of color in many situations and that my opportunities professionally might open the door for other people like me. I had great black mentors early in my career and hoped that I could return the favor to others in my community one day.
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?
A: I feel like Glassdoor is trying to do the best they can to showcase diversity as a whole. I’ve never worked anywhere where this much has been done to foster a sense of community and cultural belonging. I think we have a long way to go, and it won’t be easy, but where there is a will, there’s a way. The best thing that Glassdoor can do is empower its employees by giving them opportunities and time to explore diversity and inclusion. If Glassdoor provides the space, then it will be up to individuals to walk through the door.
Q: What does Black History Month mean to you, and how are you planning to celebrate this year?
A: Black History Month is a time to reflect on how far we have come and remind me how much work needs to be done. It seems like we’ve come so far, but my parents lived in a lifetime where there were restaurants they couldn't eat at and water fountains they couldn’t use. It’s good that we have come so far, but I feel like I owe it to those before me to share black people's stories and accomplishments. Black people are so diverse, amazing in so many ways; this needs to be shared. As far as a celebration, I plan to support one local black-owned business in the area every week of the month. Also just making myself available for others that might have questions.
Q: This month’s Black History Month’s theme is Black Excellence. How do you define Black Excellence?
A: Black Excellence is an experience! It’s a 22-year-old poet with the ability to empower others with pride. It’s a biracial little girl that becomes the first woman to be vice president of the United States. It’s my nephew that can decide one day to study the history of the Tuskegee Airman and impress their historians when he meets them. It's a group of people that can't be pigeon held into one stereotype. Black Excellence is constantly expanding the boundaries of what it's like to live the black experience. Black excellence is a charge to be great.
Q: How do you feel about being the Education Lead for Glassdoor’s BUILD ERG? How is BUILD positively impacting Diversity & Inclusion at Glassdoor?
A: It’s difficult, but it’s amazing to be in a room with so many ultra-talented people. It's an honor to join them and provide information to people within and outside my culture. The best parts are working with the other ERG’s and expanding my knowledge, and embracing our shared interests, struggles, and hopes. BUILD is positively impacting Diversity & Inclusion by providing a forum for black people while reaching out to the rest of the glassdoor community with conversations and events that celebrate our diversity and embrace the similarities we all have, also about promoting a different image for the black community than what many people may generally see.