Survey Reveals High Levels of Empathy in Latino Education Leaders

Survey compared ALAS’ leadership academy members to corporate leaders nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 14, 2021) – A recent survey of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Superintendent and Principal Leadership Academies found high levels of empathy – a trait that has been identified as one of the most important skills for leaders.

 The survey, conducted by Indigo, compared the scores of the ALAS group with the average scores of those in the corporate world. The ALAS group scored higher in the areas of empathy, leadership, being a “social motivator,” self-confidence, and others. This news came out during the ALAS 18th Annual National Summit, which took place Oct. 7-9, 2021.

“I’ve always known that my colleagues at ALAS are amazing leaders,” said ALAS Executive Director Dr. Maria Armstrong. “This survey data shows some of the reasons why. Empathy is an incredibly important trait, especially in education. The fact that our members demonstrate their ability to be compassionate leaders for their schools and districts is why the leadership pipeline is so important now.”

Indigo provides behavior and personality assessments for teachers, administrators and students, as well as those in the corporate world. The surveys support school administrators in understanding their teams, teachers in understanding their students, and students in understanding themselves so they can decide what kind of career to pursue.

Indigo partners with ALAS to support leadership development for members of ALAS’ Superintendent and Principal Leadership Academies. Among the findings:

  • Empathy: 77.8% of the ALAS group scored higher than the corporate average
  • Leadership: 73.1% of ALAS group scored higher than the corporate average
  • Social (Service) Motivator: 75.9% of the ALAS group scored higher than the corporate average
  • Self Confidence: 85.2% of the ALAS group have high confidence in themselves
  • Integrative Ability: 88.0% of the ALAS group have high integrative skills
  • Sense of Belonging: 89.8% of ALAS group have high sense of belonging
  • The ALAS group was more skilled in 74% of the 23 Indigo Assessment professional skills measured.

Empathy is an important trait for leaders because it helps combat stress and burnout and contributes to a positive workplace experience for employees and teams, according to a recent article on

“This survey data shows that ALAS is training and attracting highly skilled leaders who care deeply about making sure people feel seen and valued (Empathy) and helping others (Social). They feel deeply connected to their work and create environments where others also feel they belong (Sense of Belonging),” said Sheri Smith, founder and CEO of Indigo. “This meaningful work contributes to high levels of self-confidence and the ability to bring together many pieces of information to solve complex social problems (Integrative Ability). Basically ALAS leaders are rock stars who we want leading our schools and districts!”

Indigo uses a validated multi-factor assessment combining four sciences to measure behaviors, motivators, social emotional perceptions (acumen), and professional skills. Each assessment analyzes over 150 separate data factors. The assessment is used extensively in the corporate world and also serves education.

For more about Indigo, visit

For more information about ALAS, visit

About the Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS)

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents [ALAS] is committed to providing a perspective to all aspiring school and district administrators including superintendents through programs, services, advocacy and networks rooted in Latino experiences and culture.  ALAS has nearly 8,000 members across 18 state affiliates with several more states soon to be a part of the ALAS Familia. Our Vision, Mission and Goals are to provide leadership at the national level that assures every school in America effectively serves the educational needs of all students with an emphasis on Latino and other historically marginalized youth through continuous professional learning, policy advocacy, and networking to share practices of promise for our students and the communities where we serve.

By the year 2026, Latino children will make up 30 percent of the school-age population. In the nation’s largest states – California, Texas, Florida, and New York- all of whom are ALAS State Affiliates– Latinos already have reached that level. It is of vital interest to invest in the education of every child, and the professional learning of all educators who serve Latino youth.