Paradigm Equips F5’s Employees With Actionable DEI Strategies

F5 is a multi-cloud application services and security company committed to bringing a better digital world to life.​​​​​​​ F5 partners with the world’s largest, most advanced organizations to secure and optimize apps and APIs anywhere.

As a cornerstone to their human-first and high-performance culture, F5 is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone can be themselves and reach their full potential.

As part of their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, the company wanted to implement a DEI training program that gave all employees foundational knowledge of DEI topics and then provided guidance and resources for continued learning throughout the year.

percentage point increase in employees understanding of strategies they can use to foster inclusion

Impressed with Paradigm’s focus on impact and innovative approach, F5 chose Paradigm Reach blended learning to support their strategy. Their three-pronged DEI education approach includes:

  • Asynchronous learning: First, employees learn a curriculum of content on their own in a psychologically safe environment using Reach’s library of courses and microlearnings. Then, they are provided with resources to go deeper into identity and topical areas.
  • Group learning: Then, learners are presented with a variety of opportunities to engage with others for peer learning. For example, F5 has a chat channel employees can join, they receive invitations to join panels, seminars, and workshops from their Employee Inclusion Groups, and are provided resources to support team conversations using Reach’s discussion guides.
  • Tools: Finally, F5 uses Reach’s resources — like checklists and strategy overviews — to help employees take action toward building a culture of inclusion and belonging.

"This course is amazing. It helped me see how every person can have a grade of unconscious bias in our day-to-day life, and the importance of identifying thoughts, beliefs, and actions that are related to bias that affects us and also people around us. The course was so helpful for me."

“Partnering with Paradigm has made our three-pronged blended learning approach really easy to achieve and helped us continue to move the needle when it comes to this extremely important aspect of our culture. ”

Samantha Young
F5 HR Program Manager

According to Samantha Young, F5 HR Program Manager, “Reach’s breadth of content not only helped us establish a strong common DEI foundation, it has enabled us to build differentiated learning opportunities for key employee audiences. One of our most popular learning initiatives has been tied to our Allyship at Work program — we were able to create an engaging allyship learning journey using the Reach courses, microlearnings and resources and we’ve received extremely strong participant feedback each year.”

In addition to Reach’s content, effective communication and leadership support have been key in driving employee engagement and F5’s overall success. F5 uses multiple communication channels—chat, email, and leadership meetings— to get the word out about DEI learning, emphasizing what employees can expect to gain from the program. F5 also worked hard to find and encourage advocates within the senior leadership team to amplify their DEI programs. When senior and executive leaders are giving this work a voice, they find that employees feel they have permission to prioritize DEI learning to support this valued aspect of culture and leadership at F5. Leaders’ messages convey not just the “why” of DEI, but expected actions they want to see from their teams.

After two years of using Reach, F5 continues to be successful. Employees not only say they have a much better understanding of how to foster inclusion after Reach learning — a 27 percentage point increase, to be exact — they remain engaged and excited to learn about DEI topics two years into their Reach journey.

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