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Creating an Inclusive Workplace for LGBTQ+ Rollers

NextRoll Wins Built In’s LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Award


When it comes to creating a truly inclusive company culture, there’s no finish line. At NextRoll, we’ve spent over eight years building our DEI programming and establishing a workplace where everyone can feel comfortable being their authentic selves.

So when Built In awarded us its LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Award this year for truly fostering an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace, we were insanely grateful that our DEI work so far is setting an example for tech companies of all sizes. 

“The winners of our LGBTQIA+ Advocacy Awards Program represent standard bearers for DEI, moving the tech industry closer to the human-centered future of work all people deserve,” said Sheridan Orr, Chief Marketing Officer, Built In. 

Out of nearly 100 nominations, NextRoll made the list of 25 U.S.-based companies recognized in the awards program. 

“This recognition from Built In alongside great companies like G2, Chime, John Deere, Dropbox, and Merck highlights the great work we've been doing to foster an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ professionals year-round, not just during Pride Month,” said Mike Stocker, VP of Partnerships for RollWorks and the Executive Sponsor of RainbowRoll – our employee resource group for LGBTQ+ Rollers and allies.

So what are those programs that make NextRoll rank among the best? Keep reading to learn more!

RainbowRoll Employee Resource Group

Our Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) are a huge perk for Rollers who want to connect with peers from underrepresented backgrounds, one of which is RainbowRoll. RainbowRoll empowers LGBTQ+ employees, educates allies, and supports the local LGBTQ+ community. All Rollers are invited to join the group and our DEI team provides support and a robust budget for ERG programs. 

RainbowRoll’s year-round programming includes guest speakers, lunch and learn events centered around LGBTQ+ topics, and community outreach and donation drives. Overall, it serves as a community builder for LGBTQ+ Rollers and allies. 

“Being a part of RainbowRoll helped me to find a voice and build confidence,” said Skyler Ryan, a RainbowRoll leader and Manager of Global Customer Success for AdRoll. “Prior to joining NextRoll, I was hyper-conscious about the way I presented myself as I was fearful of being ‘othered’ or seen as different. I think the power of community and the support that ERGs received from leadership really allowed me to bloom."

Built In highlighted our annual Roll Together Fair as a top perk, which is an event that allows Rollers to meet all ERGs, including RainbowRoll, experience a wide variety of cultures and groups, and have the opportunity to get involved in the events each group hosts.

NextRoll’s Mental Health Resources 

Built In also called out our mental health resources as a top perk and benefit for Rollers who identify as LGBTQ+ and everyone else at the company. 

We offer free employee access to both the Calm app and Modern Health app, so Rollers have the resources needed for positive mental health habits. 

Through the Calm app, Rollers can access meditation and sleep resources, as well as guided breathing exercises. And through our partnership with Modern Health, Rollers have free access to several mental, coaching, or wellness counseling sessions every year. 

“I've seen the personal benefit when I'm feeling anxious or overwhelmed by work or the world and it's great to have Calm in my pocket to aid in mindfulness or to help me fall asleep at night,” said Lizzie Chapman, VP of Partnerships for AdRoll and Executive Sponsor of RollAble – our Mental Health ERG. “Antidotally, I've seen the impact of our Modern Health benefit, especially for Rollers who feel alone in their journey, which as an LGBTQ+ identifying Roller I’ve certainly felt alone various times in my life. Access is so important when it comes to mental health support and I'm proud of the benefits and access we offer to Rollers!”

Built In also recognized our Roller Recharge Days as a leading perk for Rollers. In the past, we’ve dedicated time off for Rollers to focus on their mental health. By making this company-recognized time off, more people feel comfortable disconnecting from work and reconnecting with their favorite or relaxing activities. 

Hiring and Recruiting Inclusion

Along with perks and benefits, the Built In judges considered a company’s hiring, retention, and engagement tactics to gauge how committed companies are to finding, welcoming, and uplifting LGBTQ+ talent.

Before starting at NextRoll, all Rollers and prospective Rollers are shown this is an accepting workplace for all individuals – no matter how they identify, what they look like, or where they come from. 

"DEI is an essential part of our talent acquisition philosophy here at NextRoll,” said Jody Atkins, VP of Talent Acquisition. “One of the cornerstones of our strategy is to open the doors to everyone. We focus on competency-based interviews and prep each candidate on the areas of focus each interviewer will ask about.”

During the recruitment and interview process, our Talent and Acquisition team uses and acknowledges their respective pronouns to make candidates feel comfortable using their own pronouns of choice. We ensure our employment application is inclusive of all identities and backgrounds to ensure everyone feels included even before they become a Roller. 

We also host unconscious bias workshops every year that introduces the topic of unconscious bias to Rollers and teach panels of prospective peer interviewers how to avoid these unconscious biases – and more so focus on experience and competencies – during the interview process. All Rollers are encouraged and invited to participate in these workshops every year. 

“We want to provide and fair and equitable experience to all candidates,” Atkins added. “In our Behavioral Interview training, we spend time uncovering and acknowledging unconscious bias that creeps into the interview process and how to overcome it."

Built In also called out our 2021 DEI Report, which showcases are various DEI programs, highlights Roller voices, and dives into our benchmarking and goal-setting processes. 

“Our DEI initiatives create an environment where the experiences of marginalized groups are centered and embraced,” said Ngozi Okeh, NextRoll’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “Our ERGs are spaces where Rollers can explore and grow. RainbowRoll is empowered to develop programs and become a strategic partner with NextRoll in shaping our future. I'm proud to be part of the NextRoll community, supporting our journey toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future."

We’re committed to continuing our efforts around building an inclusive culture for LGBTQ+ Rollers and allies in the year ahead and look forward to leading the way for the industry.

If you’re interested in joining our mission, check out our Careers page!