Highlighting NextRoll’s DEI 2021 Initiatives

This year has been an amazing year for growth at NextRoll. And as our businesses continue to boom, so has our ability to invest in effective and transformative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and projects.

In 2021, Ngozi Okeh, Director of DEI,  and I both joined NextRoll as a dedicated DEI team. Our goal is to expand on the solid foundation of diversity and inclusion work already laid out at NextRoll and to lead innovative initiatives for the future. 

Together, we set to continue to achieve the impactful DEI goals that were set earlier this year, which ensure all Rollers have opportunities to thrive at NextRoll and to be their best selves – regardless of identity – in 2021 and beyond. We did this through a variety of programs, immersive events, and more. 

As we gear up for 2022, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on these programs and highlight how we’re continuing to make DEI a core focus for the company, our leaders, and our team.

Employee Resource Groups at NextRoll

In my first six months of NextRoll, I began to understand what it means to be a Roller. A lot of the work we do as the DEI team is focused on creating and supporting spaces where all Rollers can feel included and they belong. One way we support this culture of inclusion and belonging is through Employee Resources Groups or ERGs.

The ERGs are monumental in shaping my and other Rollers’ experiences. At a high level, we support eight employee-led ERGs that help Rollers find and feel a sense of community. They include:

  • ChaiRoll - For our Jewish Rollers and Allies

  • RainbowRoll - For our LGBTQ+ Rollers and Allies

  • RollAble - For our Rollers who experience mental or physical health challenges and Allies

  • RollAsia - For our Asian and Pacific Islander Rollers and Allies

  • RollDeep - For our Black/African-American Rollers and Allies

  • RollMigos - For our Hispanic/Latinx Rollers and Allies

  • RollVeterans - For our Veteran and Veteran Family Rollers and Allies

  • RollWomen - For our Womxn-presenting Rollers and Allies

These groups offer a variety of events for Rollers to participate in, which highlight several impactful and current topics. Personally, all have provided me with new insight. 

This year, supporting our ERGs became a large part of my role. Since all ERG leaders are NextRoll employees, each has other core roles at NextRoll – from leading Sales and Partnership teams to working on our Legal and Marketing teams and more. To support their additional ERG leadership roles,  the DEI team ensures leaders have the resources needed to reach new members, engage current ones, and make an impact in the communities they represent and serve. 

I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with our ERGs, learn from them, and support their goals in 2022 and beyond. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Sentiment Survey

Before Ngozi and I joined NextRoll, our People team predecessors did an outstanding job keeping a pulse on Rollers’ DEI experience and needs at NexRoll through an annual sentiment survey. 

This year, we continued this effort to build future programs based on Rollers’ survey feedback. Additionally, we conducted region-specific roundtables to get a better understanding of how we can create impactful programs in the future and set innovative Inclusion Goals in 2022. 

The feedback we received from this year’s survey included that over 90% of Rollers believe NextRoll values diversity and that leaders create an inclusive environment. Additionally, we’ve now identified more opportunities to create spaces for mental health discussions among coworkers.

In 2022, we’re excited to use these survey results and direct feedback from our teams to set the blueprints for our future goals and track our success. 

Learning & Development Programs

Educational programs are vital necessities to create effective DEI programs and to empower leaders and all Rollers to foster inclusion every day. 

In my first week at NextRoll, our L&D team launched an Inclusive Management Program. This program, which consists of four trainings, is designed to support managers in building and maintaining inclusive environments. 

Participants enjoyed the training and said the eye-opening training influenced their management style. Additionally, the Learning and Development team hosted three other DEI-focused trainings this year, which included Unconscious Bias, Mitigating Bias in Performance Management, and the second course of the Inclusive Management Program. All of these programs focus on educating and equipping our teams to foster inclusion at work and in life.

In 2022, the courses and trainings will continue! Because at NextRoll, we’re never done learning and growing when it comes to DEI. 

What’s Next for NextRoll’s DEI Team

We had a great year this year, and Ngozi and I have learned a lot in our first six months at NextRoll. We’re proud of what we accomplished in just a short amount of time – from hosting region-specific roundtable DEI discussions to throwing our annual RollTogether Fair, which spotlights each of our ERGs for Rollers around the world. We also hosted four Modern Health events, which focused on supporting the mental health of our Roller communities. 

So what’s to come in 2022?

Next year, Rollers will see continued engagement from the DEI team and ERGs. And now that Rollers are more familiar with me and Ngozi, the new DEI team, our hope is that everyone will engage with us to share feedback, get involved, and help us continue to move the needle on DEI in 2022.