Celebrating Motherhood with Julie Zhou

Highlighting Maternity Leave Benefits During National Work and Family Month


Becoming a parent is no easy feat, and taking the time off work to bond with a new baby or child is so crucial to our Rollers and our leaders. 

Julie Zhou, VP of Growth on our AdRoll digital marketing team, is a longtime Roller and welcomed two babies into the world while at the company. For qualifying Rollers, we offer a 100% base salary for up to 12 weeks of maternity leave and up to 12 weeks of family leave. 

In honor of National Work and Family month, we chatted with Julie about her parental leave experiences and heard how the company supports her family’s growth and time together. 

Tell us about your maternity leave experience at NextRoll.

I’ve been fortunate to have had not one, but two excellent maternity leave experiences with NextRoll. Before the birth of my first child, my manager at the time had just returned from her maternity leave, so I was grateful to be able to model after her example. The first time, I took about 3 months off. Most recently, I took advantage of NextRoll’s expanded parental leave benefits and took 5 months off.

How did NextRoll’s People team and leadership support you before and during your leave?

The People team was knowledgeable and well-organized in walking me through the process of taking leave. The team spent a lot of time explaining the needlessly complicated process of federal vs. state vs. company leave benefits, so I didn’t miss out on any opportunities (e.g., did you know that four weeks of maternity leave have to be taken before the baby’s birth or you lose it?). When I was on leave, the People team reminded me of when important deadlines were coming up and helped me feel prepared for my return to work.

When you take maternity leave, NextRoll removes your access to work email and Slack, so it doesn’t matter how tempted you get to check in on work! I was a people manager when I took my leave, and my manager and peers were very generous with their time in arranging a support structure for my team when I was away.

What’s the day-to-day like, as a parent back at work?

NextRoll leads by example. The majority of our leadership and C-suite are themselves working parents. They take advantage of flexible scheduling and encourage those on their teams to do the same. I never have to worry that someone will give me a hard time for skipping a meeting to handle unexpected childcare obligations.

An employee truly benefits from parental leave only if the culture of the company supports and encourages them to use the benefit without reservation. I’m fortunate that NextRoll not only encourages parental leave but celebrates it. I’ve taken maternity leave twice, and each time I was on a different team with a different manager. But both times, my manager’s response after I told them the news was, “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you!” They did not even ask how much time I expected to be away until I brought it up.

We love supporting our Rollers through all their life journeys – including parenthood! Learn more about NextRoll’s benefits.