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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at nCino: What's Next?

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Company CultureDE&I



By Zedrick Applin, Program Manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community Involvement at nCino

At the beginning of February, I took on a new position at nCino as Program Manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community. I’m thrilled and humbled to serve in a capacity that allows me to truly exercise my passion for people.

At the same time, I know this role will be challenging. Society, both in the USA and around the world, is experiencing a reckoning when it comes to social justice issues. Racism, sexism, bigotry and violence have always existed, but they came to a head this past year when the murder of George Floyd sparked global outrage and, in the corporate world, set off a number of overdue conversations. In this climate, it’s more important than ever that our employees feel safe, secure, and heard, and one of my duties is to make sure that happens.

As nCino continues to grow and deliver a positive impact on our communities, it is vital that our diversity, equity and inclusion strategies are well rooted within our organization and tied closely to our core values. To that end, I plan to begin my new role by focusing on three key areas: hiring, inclusion and education.


DE&I isn’t just a moral imperative—it’s also a business imperative. A recent study from NC State found that companies with policies that encourage the promotion and retention of a diverse workforce are also better at developing innovative products and services. This has been the case at nCino and while we’ve worked hard to increase diversity across the company, there is still plenty of work to do.

One of my first goals as Program Manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community is to help get even more diverse talent through the door by recruiting in non-traditional places, forming deeper partnerships with HBCUs and, when setting hiring requirements and standards, understanding that great talent can come from a range of backgrounds and experiences. At the same time, we want better visibility into how we are currently doing—you can’t improve something unless you measure it. To that end, in a few months we plan to conduct an internal and confidential survey to identify potential gaps in our current DE&I efforts with the support of a third-party platform that helps companies build more inclusive work cultures, and using that information to set clear and transparent goals.


Hiring a diverse workforce is just the first step. The second is to retain that diversity by creating the kind of environment where employees feel welcomed and empowered to bring their whole selves to work. We want every employee to know that they belong at nCino, that they are appreciated for their unique talents and perspective, and that they can make a difference when and if they want. In the coming year, I’m looking forward to expanding our affinity group program, creating more opportunities for important conversations, and taking the time to celebrate our differences. Whether it’s Pride Month, International Women’s Day, Juneteenth, Noruz, Seollal,Purim, or any of the other countless holidays and events, we want to encourage all employees to pause, appreciate, and share these meaningful moments with our community.


Over the last two years, I’ve worked closely on nCino’s DE&I programming and served as a founding member of our Diversity & Inclusion Council. I understand the importance of educating the larger nCino community on the unique challenges that various cultures and individuals face. Education will be an ongoing effort, and we’ll start by leveraging a variety of formats and innovative tools to create learning opportunities that are immersive, inclusive and interactive. We plan to cover topics such as unconscious bias, microaggressions, and how to build a truly inclusive culture, with trainings tailored to new and existing employees, senior leaders, and our executive team. As a Black man, I understand that we can’t place the burden of education on the shoulders of our employees.

That’s why I’m committed to sending a clear message of solidarity on behalf of nCino and elevating their voices and experiences when appropriate. When it comes to issues like Black Lives Matter, violence against the Asian community, or anti-trans legislation, our employees should know immediately and instinctually that nCino stands with them. This will take time, energy and effort, but if it makes even one employee feel supported and empowered by the nCino community, it will be well worth it.

While I am leading the charge on nCino’s DE&I efforts, I can’t do it alone. Luckily, I don’t have to. I’d like to thank nCino’s CEO, Pierre Naudé, for entrusting me with this role, our Human Resources department for welcoming me to the team, and our senior leaders, board members, and employees for supporting these efforts; building an inclusive culture is everyone’s responsibility. I look forward to working with our stakeholders and fellow change agents over the coming months and years to make a positive difference in the lives of our employees, in the technology and financial services industries, and in the world.