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  • DEI, Inclusive Leadership

Fostering Inclusive Leadership with Immersive training

Anthony Santa Maria

Anthony Santa Maria

The Challenge

Our customer, a Fortune 100 technology company whose business includes e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and AI, embarked on a mission to transform its approach to leadership development. Their mission was threefold:

  • Empower people managers to become empathetic and inclusive leaders
  • Equip these leaders with the tools to lead diverse teams and drive retention
  • Enable managers to embrace their unique identities as a source of strength in authentic leadership

These objectives required a holistic solution that would reshape the way leadership development was approached.

The Solution

Learning leaders at the company revamped their New and Continuous Manager Training Academy with an intentional focus on empathetic and inclusive leadership. The program embedded three of our immersive experiences paired with our wrap-around reinforced learning opportunities:

  1. Perspective-taking: Learners took on the perspectives of folks with intersectional identities in authentic workplace scenarios and explored the complexities of leading diverse teams. The courses focused on two crucial aspects of leadership development – mentorship and sponsorship and setting inclusive team norms. 
  2. Reflections and action-taking: Following each scenario, learners went through guided reflections, reviewed concept overviews to reinforce the learning, and made commitments for micro-changes they can implement in their workplace. 
  3. Interactive Group Conversations: Participants engaged in small and large group conversations. These discussions provided a platform for sharing insights from the perspectives taken and ways to translate the learning into action within the organization.  
  4. Hybrid Implementation: To meet the needs of a hybrid workforce, participants had the flexibility to gather in person while benefiting from virtual facilitation. This approach ensured accessibility and engagement for all, regardless of their geographic location or work arrangement.

The integration of these elements into the company’s existing training framework laid the foundation for a highly engaging and impactful leadership development program. 

The Results

The impact of this program is best illustrated by the learners themselves. 94% of participants successfully completed the program (the average completion rate for e-learning is 15%). 

Beyond completion, the program achieved a learner satisfaction score of 87, surpassing the industry average for e-learning programs, which typically stands at 64. 

From the perspective of the program administrator, a Senior Learning and Talent Development Program Manager, the impact of the program is profound. They shared, “I love hearing testimonials from participants. So many of them give specific examples about how they have applied what they learned — and most importantly — that they think differently and have learned to challenge their own beliefs.” 

These insights highlight the program’s transformative effect: encouraging leaders to challenge their assumptions and adopt more inclusive, empathetic, and authentic leadership styles that drive retention for diverse team members.

Growth of core competencies needed for empathetic and inclusive leadership

The company’s leadership development program has demonstrated significant growth in core competencies essential for effective leadership. The following statistics, paired with learners testimonials, highlight the tangible impact of the program:

  • 65% of participants reported a noticeable surge in empathy. One participant shared, “Seeing it from the person’s perspective makes it feel more like it’s happening to you.”
  • 77% could better identify inequities. A learner recognized, “This module has given me a heightened awareness of potential [biases].”
  • 78% felt more confident in taking informed action. A participant’s reflection echoed this sentiment, “I believe that this training module will make me more aware of how to ensure I do my part to create an all-inclusive environment.”
  • 79% approached situations differently due to the training. A learner candidly stated, “This [felt like] a real-life experience. I will work on thinking before I speak moving forward.”

Fostering a team culture of inclusivity and retention with authentic leadership

One of the core objectives of the company’s leadership development program was to foster a culture where employees are not only empowered but also inspired to stay and contribute to the organization’s growth. 

  • Improving company-wide equity & inclusion: 75% of learners agree that the training program will help their company become more equitable and inclusive. 
  • Intent to Stay: 68% of all learners express a heightened intent to stay as a direct result of their participation in Praxis training. Below is a breakdown by demographic:
    • White Employees: 69% express an increased intent to stay due to the Praxis training
    • African American and Black Employees: 75% attribute their intent to stay to the Praxis training 
    • Latine Employees: Similarly, 75% of Latine employees reported their intent to stay because of the Praxis training

These outcomes signify that the program not only equips individuals with valuable skills but also contributes to a broader organizational culture where employees feel supported, valued, and committed to their roles. They also underscore the program’s effectiveness in engaging and retaining underrepresented talent. 

Insights to drive future strategy

The company’s commitment to continuous improvement and inclusivity goes beyond the immediate impact of its leadership development program. With Praxis Labs’ data dashboard, Pivotal Insights, the company has gained valuable insights that will guide its future DEI and learning strategies. 

These insights not only encompass competency growth and module completion rates but also delve into DEI hotspots — areas where targeted improvement is needed at the organization.

While the overall top opportunity areas were compensation and rewards and learning and development, the story changes when you filter the data by race and gender.  

Top Opportunity Areas by Race:

Top Opportunity Areas by Gender:

These granular insights enable the company’s DEI and Learning leaders to tailor their strategies to specific demographic groups within the organization. By addressing these areas, the company aims to create a workplace where all employees feel valued, empowered, and supported in their professional journeys.


The company’s pursuit of redefining leadership development has borne fruit in the form of tangible outcomes. It empowered individuals, fostered inclusivity, and offered actionable insights for the organization’s future. As one insightful learner aptly put it, “Every new manager needs a training like this.”

This case study illustrates the company’s unwavering commitment to innovation, empathy, and continuous learning, setting a benchmark for organizations worldwide seeking to cultivate inclusive and effective leadership.

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