Growing and Supporting the Roblox Team
by David Baszucki, Founder and CEO
At Roblox, our mission is to connect a billion people with optimism and civility. We realize this mission is only possible through relentless innovation, driven by our amazing employees and the processes behind how we work. The Roblox developer community, over 12 million strong, works in concert with us, providing the creative content that drives our growth.
Our people are our most important asset, and we strongly believe that our innovation is only possible by building a workforce that embodies a broad range of skills, perspectives and backgrounds. Roblox seeks the best and brightest talent. We are constantly striving to ensure that our workforce reflects the depth and breadth of experiences, identities and backgrounds that define our platform. We are proud of the culture and people practice we’ve built, yet we know there is more to do.
We are committed to making Roblox the best, most inclusive place to work anywhere. We have a strong foundation and, in close partnership with our employees, we will keep learning and evolving as we ensure that we are the very best place to work for everyone. And our work towards this goal will never stop.
And so I want to summarize what we do to attract, retain, advance and, crucially, support an expansive, diverse employee base.
OUTREACH & RECRUITING
We are continuously searching for innovative people to join Roblox and help us build our platform. We invest heavily in reaching out to prospective candidates. This includes an extra focus on candidates with diverse backgrounds and perspectives that are underrepresented in tech. We have built a sourcing team that specializes in engaging with candidates from less represented groups, which includes collaborations with organizations like Grace Hopper and AfroTech. With many of our peers similarly focused on building diverse pipelines, the competition for this talent is fierce. That’s why we are continuing to grow and enhance this team, with resources in this area on track to triple over the course of 2023. In addition, our executive recruiting team is focused on building relationships and sourcing talent from diverse backgrounds to continue driving more representation in leadership positions across Roblox.
That’s only one piece in our holistic effort to create a robust and diverse talent acquisition program. We constantly measure and assess our recruiting funnel to detect and remedy any bias. We are so passionate about this that, in 2020, we acquired a company called Imbellus that excelled at building valid, reliable, and fair assessment technology. By using the simulation-based assessment system first developed by Imbellus, we’re able to expand the pool of candidates we source from and reduce our reliance on typical early-sourcing criteria used by most recruiting organizations. This has allowed us to reduce or eliminate some of the signals of unconscious bias that can leak into the recruiting process when companies rely on long-standing networks and methods for finding talent. Our interview training also includes a focus on unconscious bias and over 80 percent of managers have taken that training.
Similarly, we are proud of the fact that we no longer look at the college or university where our new college graduate and intern candidates apply from. For example, in recent years we’ve seen a marked increase in intern hires coming from universities other than Ivy League schools or the top 25 computer science programs. As a result, we’ve seen the percentage of interns coming from institutions other than historically elite schools rise from 32 percent in 2021 to 48 percent in 2022. Diversifying which schools we recruit from is just a start, but it provides a foundation we are excited to build on.
IN THE WORKPLACE
Our efforts to create a welcoming environment rich with different backgrounds and perspectives don’t end once someone has joined our company. Respecting the community is one of our foundational values, and applies just as much to how we treat our users and customers as it does to how we treat one another. Civility and respect are central to our approach to inclusion in the workplace; it’s the only way we can ensure all employees can bring their “best selves” to work each day.
In keeping with these values, we strive to create as many touch points as possible to take our employees’ pulse and make sure that people feel that they are respected and appreciated and that they have opportunities to grow and thrive with Roblox. That’s why we’ve built in many ways for employees to share thoughts on how we are doing as a company. These include our Weekly Stand Up & Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, where we support open and unscripted Q&A with our leaders and all employees.
In addition, we host Listening Sessions led by our People team, as well as our monthly CEO AMA and confidential feedback channels. We also have an open-door policy for speaking with our leaders, and we have incorporated checks and balances in the forms of upward manager feedback and satisfaction surveys. We conduct a company-wide Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging survey to understand employee sentiment and receive insights confidentially. And finally, we provide an anonymous reporting system for employees that goes directly to our employee relations team and, as needed, up to our board.
We also strive to build a system of continuous feedback to help ensure that people are being treated fairly and empathetically, and we swiftly address any concerns that are raised. We want Roblox to be the place where you will learn more than anywhere else, and we can only make sure that’s the case when people feel seen, heard and respected.
As part of this, we support employee-led Affinity Groups that allow people to find and build communities with their peers based on shared identities and interests. We have over 15 groups, and we provide company resources for speakers, gatherings and workshops, as well as funding for activities or events that fall outside of these areas.
Roblox is powered by people who want to work on novel problems and who bring a systems-based, creative approach to their work. Our people are constantly improving on our collective ability to innovate and execute while living our values, and our efforts to create an inclusive, welcoming and empathetic workplace directly feed into this. We have been intentional in building many avenues for connecting, for feedback and to drive transparency. That being said, we are always looking for more ways to do this better and will continue to work closely with our employees.
TRACKING OUR PROGRESS
In our efforts to build a creative, engaged, innovative and diverse workforce, we strive to be thoughtful and intentional. And the same goes to how we benchmark our progress. While I will be the first to say that we always have more work to do, as we look at the data on employee performance and growth within the company for signs of disparities, we want to share a few key stats that reflect where we are today and where we’ve come from over the last several years.
- Looking at professional development within the company, we’ve found evidence of a fair and objective process, with promotion rates statistically equivalent across gender, racial and ethnic lines. In our most recent analysis of the promotion rates of women and men in the second half of 2022, 13% of women and 9% of men at Roblox were promoted.
- Moreover, as of June 30, 2023, about 30% of leaders at Roblox are women. This, of course, is not yet where we want to be. But it represents a 40% increase in women in leadership positions from June 2020. We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made and are excited to continue building on it.
- Pay equity is also essential for our culture, and we design our compensation systems with a focus on fairness, consistency, and equality. Last year, we launched what will be an annual analysis of our pay equity via a third-party vendor, and found that Roblox pays employees the same across both gender and race.
- As of May 2023, 64 percent of our employees are employees of color. This is up from 57 percent in 2020. We believe this is a result of our broad recruiting outreach, coupled with our equitable hiring practices.
- We use industry-standard employee satisfaction and engagement surveys to measure how our people feel at work and have consistently found that our employees are overwhelmingly satisfied and proud to work for Roblox, and that this sentiment holds across identities, with no significant difference between our female and male employees. For example, over 90% of Roblox employees agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I am proud to work for this company.”
- Both female and male employees rate their managers similarly in all areas covered by our employee satisfaction survey. This feedback is generally consistent across our teams — including employees in technical roles across engineering and product.
Our work impacts not just the lives of the 2,600 people working here today, but also the over 66 million daily active users who use our platform to connect and express themselves. We embrace the responsibility to support a space where people can be who they are (or who they want to be) and be accepted. Internally, we know we need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
Even though we are making progress, we know there is more to do — for us and for the industry as a whole. We are committed to continually improving the ways we find, grow and retain employees from diverse backgrounds, the environment we provide for all employees to thrive, and ultimately the product we’re building to enable millions across the world to connect, learn and come together.