case study

ETU creates award-winning simulations for Pacific Gas & Electric

Discover how PG&E implemented scenario-based simulations to improve their approach to sexual harassment prevention training

Sexual harassment prevention simulations

Simulations transform approach to mandated training

IELA Awards 2021 HM ETU and PG&E


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Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)


Deploy sexual harassment prevention training that goes above and beyond the statewide standards for compliance, resulting in better learning outcomes, data gathering, and leader commitment


ETU’s scenario-based simulations in six topics related to sexual harassment prevention rolled out to ~2800 learners


  • Highest-ever engagement ratings for online learner cohort
  • Data and insight on learner gaps, providing critical shift in focus
  • Clear executive support driving a company-wide commitment to diversity & inclusion

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) partnered with ETU to build a sophisticated multi-topic simulation on the topic of sexual harassment prevention.

Chris Pickett, Sr. Director at PG&E AcademyJon Faulk PG&E





Learning leaders Chris Pickett and Jon Faulk led the initiative, with the clear goal of not only educating PG&E managers on the new sexual harassment law, but also creating a truly engaging experience while gathering data on learner skills.

Based in California, PG&E knew they needed to meet the minimum sexual harassment training standards required by state law. 

However, PG&E wanted to take the program to the next level. They have always considered diversity and inclusion as a core part of their culture and success, and wanted to take a deep dive into the newly required topics around gender identity and sexual preference.

For this reason, they wanted to go above and beyond basic “check the box” compliance for sexual harassment training. A comment from Mary King, PG&E’s head of diversity and inclusion, summarizes their reasoning well: “When we value the unique experiences of our employees and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work, we simply get better outcomes for our customers.”

PG&E knew they wanted to do something different than traditional elearning. They wanted something that would have a greater impact on their leaders while at the same time would enable them to measure that impact.

PG&E rolled out a 2-hour immersive simulation solution to over 2800 leaders. There were 6 modules that covered several different sexual harassment topics:

Part 1: Understanding the Sexual Harassment Law
Part 2: Hostile Work Environments
Part 3: Quid Pro Quo
Part 4: Workplace Communication
Part 5: Investigate and Report /When to Speak Up
Part 6: Sexual Harassment Prevention

Besides the obvious goal of making sure every leader that took the training was in compliance, PG&E wanted to ensure that leaders were engaging in the subject material in a meaningful way.

PG&E wanted their leaders to be put into challenging situations that addressed sexual harassment, so together with ETU they created simulations that place leaders into "decision-making grey areas" to spark uncomfortable emotional reactions. The simulations allowed them to not only practice their skills in a safe place, but also provided valuable coaching if the leader made a decision that was not optimal.

When PG&E started getting their Level 1 reaction data back in the learning evaluations, Jon and Chris knew they had hit the mark. Overall results for the course were 4.34 (out of 5) which was right in line with the benchmark, and higher than any other online training course PG&E had rolled out before. Overall scores were very good, so they felt like leaders were much better prepared to handle harassment situations as they came up than they had in the past.

Quotes from learners involved with the program were extremely favorable. One participant said, “I liked how the situations weren't black and white and more like real life. And that even if you didn't get the best answer, they told you why it wasn't the best answer.” A PG&E officer commented, “This is not only the best training I’ve seen on the topic of sexual harassment prevention, but it’s one of the best online learning programs I’ve ever seen period.”

PG&E tapped into an insights report that aggregated back-end learner data into a cohesive story. Skill level scores ranged from 90-95 (out of 100) in most categories. However, the PG&E team discovered some topics that scored statistically lower, particularly around workplace communication and when to engage their HR partners. Left unchecked, this threatened to lead to inefficiencies across the target audience and HR resources being spent in the wrong places. There was also potential negative impact to team environments and productivity. After the data revealed these possibilities, these topics became an area of focus for PG&E’s HR organization and were enhanced in the next version of the training. PG&E was able to see data real-time and take immediate actions.

According to Chris Pickett, “The data we gathered from the simulation has been invaluable. The system tracks all of the users choices, and whether they chose the Optimal, Sub-Optimal, or Critical path. That information helped us discover skill gaps across areas like workplace communication and adhering to policies. This helped our HR leaders know where to focus their efforts to help close gaps, and will be part of the next update of the training to reinforce in these areas.”

“The ETU platform has been a game changer for us. The high level of data and insights about our learners that we’re able to pull from the simulation has given us significant advantage.” 

- Jon Faulk, PG&E Learning Leader

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