President of RFBF, Brian Grim, was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article on the importance of embracing religious diversity in the workplace. He believes that a community of different identities & views can foster team-building & avoid polarization.
Feb 1, 2024, article by Khorri Atkinson
From the article …
Forty-three Fortune 500 companies have publicly reported having faith-oriented ERGs, up from 37 companies in 2022, according to a recent report by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, a nonprofit that advises employers on religious issues. Their ERGs have members from various faiths including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, and even Atheism.
“It’s happening. Companies aren’t necessarily broadcasting it yet because they want to make sure it works and get some track record before they sort of go public with what they’re doing,” said Brian Grim, founding president of the RFBF.
“There’s been a growing recognition of religious diversity in America,” Grim said. “Companies see that the workforce isn’t like it was 30 years ago” because it’s getting more diverse with both workers of minority faiths and those who aren’t affiliated with a particular faith.
A community of different identities and viewpoints can foster team-building and avoid polarization, but without care and sensitivity, these groups can lead to misunderstanding and conflict, Grim said.
“One of the things that many companies have found is that people won’t just join an interfaith group” because there’s a presumption it would “water down our faith,” he said.
“That’s like, well, ‘Do I have to pretend like I don’t believe what I believe and come sing kumbaya?’” Grim said. Instead, having faith-specific groups under an interfaith umbrella are more likely to effectively engage workers while creating opportunities for interfaith collaborative ventures, he said.