Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Monthly Archives: December 2019


28 Dec, 2019

Bringing Your Faith to Work

14 Dec, 2019

Corporate Sponsors: American Airlines & Tyson Foods

See the News from the conference (AP, Fox, etc.)


Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, Busch School of Business at Catholic University to Co-Host Forum in Washington on faith-oriented Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

(WASHINGTON, DC) – A growing trend in corporate America that is being embraced by some of the largest and most recognizable companies will be the topic of a first-of-its-kind conference in February. From Google to Facebook to Walmart, companies from a range of industries are recognizing that faith-friendly environments mean better workplaces and better businesses.

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and the Busch School of Business at Catholic University will hold a groundbreaking conference for employees and executives to discuss the importance of corporate programs that foster religious inclusion. The two-day conference will take place at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., on February 13 and 14, 2020. The event will feature executives and members of faith-oriented Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) sharing best practices, challenges and opportunities.

The conference will be keynoted by Sue Warnke, Salesforce Senior Director of Content & Communication Experience and the President of Faithforce San Francisco. Catholic University President John H. Garvey and Busch School Founding Dean Andrew Abela will also address attendees. The Busch School of Business was launched in 2013 with the aim of developing virtuous business leaders and using the resources of the Catholic intellectual tradition to advance a vision of business in service to society and human dignity. A range of corporate speakers will also discuss the importance of faith in business at the conference.

“Corporate America is recognizing that respect for faith expression is vital to recruitment, retention and creating a productive work environment,” said Dr. Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. The Foundation is the leading global authority on issues surrounding how faith and businesses can interact for a more peaceful and prosperous world. “The employees will be sharing their experiences and helping to drive the conversation. That’s really exciting.”

“While special inclusion programs surrounding race, gender and sexual orientation are the norm, the business community is rapidly realizing that faith expression is critically important. This conference will explore for the first time what’s working, challenges and ways businesses can foster a more faith-inclusive environment to lift all boats,” said Grim.

“The religious dimension is an essential part of human life, and any vibrant business ought to welcome and support this dimension,” said Dean Abela. “At the Busch School of Business, we teach that faith and business aren’t mutually exclusive. Employees should not have to check their beliefs at the door.”

Sessions at the conference will focus on:

  • – The Business Case for ERGs: Why Faith-Friendly is Important to Business
  • – ERGs & Workplace Spirituality
  • – Overcoming Challenges Faced by Faith-oriented ERGs
  • – Multiplying the faith-oriented ERG Movement
  • – Nuts and Bolts of Forming Faith Oriented ERGs
  • – Workplace Chaplains – Similarities to & Differences from ERGs
  • – Resources for Corporate Literacy & Accountability on Religious Inclusion

“When implemented thoughtfully, faith ERGs increase morale, improve retention, attract talent, reduce religious bias, and brand your company as a diversity leader. The benefits simply vastly outweigh the risks. Building a faith diversity strategy for your employees is a business imperative,” said Salesforce’s Sue Warnke.

Faith-oriented ERGs have grown in acceptance in recent years, with name-brand businesses like American Express, Coca-Cola, Key Bank, Target and Toyota among nearly 50 different corporations to offer some type of faith-oriented ERG. The trend is also growing across the technology sector, with Salesforce’s Faithforce being one of the fastest growing ERGs nationwide, and companies alike Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel and Dell all offering faith-oriented ERGs to employees.

Earlier this year, Texas Instruments hosted a forum on religious diversity and inclusion at its global headquarters in Dallas, attracting participants from more than 30 different companies. Walmart, the nation’s largest company, launched its first ever interfaith ERG this fall.

–> Register

ERGs, employees and companies wishing to attend or sponsor can contact

Middle East Business Leaders Pledge Support for Religious Freedom, Acceptance in the Workplace

9 Dec, 2019



Groundbreaking Discussion Calls Attention to Importance of Faith-Friendly Businesses, Religious Diversity in Region 

(MANAMA, BH) – Gathering together top business executives, government officials and religious leaders from across the region, the inaugural Middle East and North Africa International Religious Freedom Business Roundtable cohosted by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence launched a critical discussion around global peace and understanding through acceptance of religious expression in the workplace.

This groundbreaking discussion – bridging cultural and religious divides across the region –  included dialogue from some of the Middle East’s leading business executives, including Future Pipe Industries Board Member May Makhzoumi; Thattai Hundu Merchants Community President Bob Thacker; Menomadin Vice President Aiman Mansour; and Medinol Founder and CEO Dr. Judith Richter. Leaders of major business associations also participated in the forum including the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain President Qays H. Zu’bi; Bahrain British Business Forum Chairman Khalid Rashid Al Zayani OBE; Bahrain Entrepreneurs Organization Founder and Chairwoman Feryal Nass, and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce Deputy Chairman Mohamed al Koheji.

U.S. Ambassador Justin H. Siberell, British Ambassador Roddy Drummond, and USAID’s Samah Norquist participated as well.

The executives addressed regional challenges and opportunities to advance respect for all faiths in the workplace to counter the rising tide of restrictions on freedom of religion and belief seen in many areas around the world. More than a dozen executives involved in the multi-day summit pledged their commitment to promoting faith-inclusive environments for their workers, through the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s Corporate Pledge. They also committed to leveraging their broader influence to advance interfaith religious understanding across the region.

In taking the Corporate Pledge, CEOs affirmed that freedom of religion or belief (“FoRB”) is a fundamental right. They also recognize that religious freedom promotes sustainable and innovative businesses, contributes to human advancement, and results in more peaceful and stable societies.

“The link between respect for religious expression and the growth and prosperity of business is often ignored. This is particularly true in regions where there is religious tension,” said Religious Freedom & Business Foundation President Dr. Brian Grim, who kicked off the discussion. “Businesses that foster a workplace environment where religious identity and expression is respected are happier and more productive. Faith acceptance, regardless of religious identification, can lead to more successful businesses and a unifying force for people, especially in religiously diverse areas like the Middle East and North Africa.”

The roundtable was held at the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence. “The modern Kingdom of Bahrain is also known as the world’s leading center for peaceful coexistence and interfaith dialogue, and we are pleased to provide a safe and peaceful platform for all voices to be heard in the spirit of mutual respect and love,” said H.E. Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence, which also hosted an interfaith leadership conference as part of a two-day discussion about addressing the challenges of religious freedom in the greater Middle East.

Coming out of this inaugural event, the Chairman of This Is Bahrain, Betsy Mathieson, who moderated the discussion, announced that two more International Religious Freedom Business Roundtables will be held in Bahrain in the coming year. Religious Freedom & Business Foundation Vice President Greg Clark, who was invited today to meet with Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, also announced that additional roundtables to engage CEOs on religious inclusion in the workplace will be held in other countries in the region in 2020.

Numerous speakers referenced The Kingdom of Bahrain Declaration,  which is highlights that different religious groups have lived harmoniously, side by side, in the Kingdom for hundreds of years.


The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is the preeminent organization dedicated to educating the global business community, policymakers, non-government organizations and consumers about the positive power faith has on business and the economy. RFBF believes that business and religious freedom combine to form a powerful force for a better world. Through groundbreaking expert research, training programs, practical business tools and convening interfaith dialogue, RFBF helps demonstrate the critical link between respect for faith, successful enterprise and dynamic national economies. RFBF’s pioneering work serves as a catalyst for executives to promote Freedom of Religion or Belief for all people through employee programing, customer-facing policies, and leveraging their broader societal influence. RFBF is a non-partisan, non-political registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the United States. For more information or to get involved visit

Dr. Judith Richter, CEO Medinol, brings people together focusing on the heart (cardiovascular & spiritual)!

7 Dec, 2019

On Sunday, Dec 8 2020, Middle East CEOs are gathering for the first-ever International Religious Freedom BUSINESS Roundtable. See the amazing way Dr. Judith Richter, CEO Medinol, brings together young people of different faiths focusing on the heart (cardiovascular & spiritual)!

The NIR School of the Heart is a comprehensive experiential program aimed at enriching the academic, cultural, social and personal development of promising teenagers throughout the Middle East. Their select group of students is offered a top-quality interactive education in the medical sciences, with an emphasis on cardiology, provided by world-class experts and with access to first-rate facilities. By engaging curious young minds from several nationalities in a multi-cultural educational environment, the program aims to encourage the students to communicate and share their knowledge with one another, and to propagate that knowledge and spirit within their home communities.

The NIR School is an independent, non-profit, non-political organization sponsored in full by Dr. Judith Richter and Dr. Kobi Richter who founded the school.

The NIR School looks forward to seeing its graduates become positive contributors to society, and hopes to play a constructive role in deepening cross-border social and professional relationships both today and in the future.