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How to Request Employer-Sponsored Training

A Guide for Allies to Further Their Learning Journey

At Empovia, the launch of our new eLearning platform demonstrates our desire to make learning solutions more accessible and affordable for passionate learners. We’ve taken the research-based, time-tested curriculum that we’ve used with teams at Fortune 500 companies, startups, and venture capital firms to drive transformational and sustainable change, and designed it specifically for our new eLearning platform.

For individuals and teams looking to advance their skills in empathy, allyship, and workplace inclusivity, you may have an opportunity to request that your employer or organization covers some or all of the cost of the training. To help prepare you for this conversation, we’ve collected some advice on best practices for making a request for employer-sponsored training.

Step 1. Identify your desired learning pathway.

Do your research on what learning solution is best for you or your team. You can find self-paced courses that can be taken on their own, course bundles that deepen learning over time, and live virtual workshops that give you the chance to learn in a limited group with esteemed instructors. These options come at different price points and can be combined for a deeper, more thorough learning experience. It’s important to figure out what the cost of your desired learning experience is before taking the proposal to your manager. 

Below, we’ve laid out a pricing guide for our offered solutions with some highlights of each offering.


How to Be an Ally


Foundations Bundle: Everyone’s Role in DEI


Empovia LIVE Virtual Workshop


1:1 Coaching Add-on

Step 2. Prepare your request with a balance of personal development and organizational benefits.

While many industries are experiencing tighter budgets around learning and development, it can be wise to approach this kind of proposal with the business case in mind. While our research shows that across roles, people are motivated to be allies because it is the right thing to do, there is also a strong business case for increased allyship on any team.

Here are a few findings from our research to help you build your case.

People with at least one ally in their workplace are nearly twice as likely to:

  • Feel they belong in the organization.
  • Be satisfied with their workplace culture.
  • Be satisfied with their job.

The top benefits of having more allies in the workplace are:

  • Higher engagement
  • Increased happiness
  • Improved productivity

People who have experienced discrimination in their careers are 1.8x more likely to feel unsafe and 2.1x more likely to feel they don't belong. However, when they have an ally in the workplace:

  • Black people are 1.4x more likely to feel safe and 1.7x more likely to feel like they belong
  • Women are 1.9x more likely to feel safe and 2.7x more likely to feel like they belong
  • LGBTQIA+ folks are 4.4x more likely to feel safe
  • People with disabilities are 2.7x more likely to feel safe and 2.5x more likely to feel like they belong

For more of our findings, download The State of Allyship Report.

Step 3. Schedule dedicated time for the request.

Whether you are remote or in-person, follow the protocols for booking time with your manager to make your request/proposal. Try not to bring it up in passing or squeeze it in at the end of a weekly call. Show your boss that this is important to you by requesting their dedicated attention.

Remember that, as important as this learning opportunity is to you, it probably won’t be your manager’s priority even if they think it’s a good idea. Set reminders to follow up and don’t assume that a non-response is a no–it’s likely that they could have forgotten. It can also be helpful to give a timeline for a decision or to set a follow up call to discuss after they’ve had time to think about it and look at the budget.

At Empovia, our goal is to make learning accessible and affordable in order to increase the number of allies taking action in their workplace and creating change in their communities. Our team is here to support you in your efforts to further your personal and professional learning in whatever ways we can. If you’re working for a nonprofit, living on a low income, a student or veteran, or otherwise unable to afford the cost, we have limited scholarship opportunities available. Please reach out to our Director of Learning for more information.