Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion

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Invitation to Funders

Help Us Bring Religious Literacy to Business Through Business Schools and Business Faculty

One of the greatest misconceptions about business is that Corporate America is not faith-friendly. While perhaps true in some quarters, nothing could be further from the truth in some of the world’s biggest and best companies ranging from Google to PayPal and American Airlines to Tyson Foods. These companies are part of a burgeoning corporate movement of including religion as part of their diversity, equity and inclusion commitments.

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) invites funders to join with us in scaling up our national and international corporate religious literacy initiative by incentivizing faculty and researchers from leading business schools to conduct research, write on and teach about this exciting movement.

RFBF — beginning with its partnerships with the Marriott School of Business at BYU (Provo, UT) and the Busch School of Business at Catholic University (Washington, DC) — is uniquely positioned to provide leadership to such an initiative for four important reasons:

  • RFBF’s research is myth-busting. Our research not only shows which companies are leaders in workplace religious inclusion, but how religious inclusion benefits economies and societies. 
  • RFBF is the go-to source for workplace religious literacy training, consultation and resources.
  • — RFBF publishes the leading benchmarking tool for workplace religious inclusion with top corporate buy-in.
  • RFBF’s reach is not just national, it’s global.

If you’d like to help bring this to scale nationally and globally, contact RFBF President Brian Grim, Ph.D. (email) today.


(1) Dispelling Myths Through Research:

Watch: Corporate America’s workplaces are fast becoming faith-friendly

 

Watch: Religion adds $1.2 trillion to the US economy every year

(2) Religious Literacy for Business – We’re Providing It!

Watch: What is religious literacy in a business context?

Our religious literacy training program allows business leaders to see how creating faith-friendly and accommodating workplaces is good for business at all levels. The training model is built on three pillars: Knowledge, Skills, and Action.

The Knowledge pillar allows training participants across an organization to understand the basics of the law regarding religious freedom at work and the business case for creating religiously accommodating workplaces.

The Skills pillar introduces skills and best practices on how to build religious literacy and create religiously accommodating workplaces. As outlined below, we have developed numerous video case studies to help professionals practice these skills and written case studies to help professionals see how other companies have succeeded in this area.

The Action pillar takes the lessons learned from the Knowledge and Skills pillars and applies them to the specific context of the given business. Participants are able to build strategies on how they will implement lessons learned using the resources provided in the training.

This training model, combined with the teaching resources we’ve developed below, has proven to be a very successful model for corporate training.

2) Resource Example 1 – Video Case Study: We have developed an engaging series of video teaching prompts, such as the one below. Each video case study depicts real-life scenarios in a workplace. Each scenario comes with individual and group work to assist participants in analyzing the situation and applying appropriate religious diversity, equity, and inclusion accommodation principles.

Resource Example 2 – Written Case Study: Each written case study tells a unique story of how a given company has brought faith and belief accommodation into the workplace. As every company is different in their structure, employee demographic, and mission, each case study highlights unique challenges and lessons learned. For instance, the Texas Instruments Case Study highlights how the company overcame concerns among employees that creating a faith-based employee resource group would negatively impact LGBTQ workers at the company.

These two examples of our training resources also speak to the in-depth knowledge RFBF has of how to successfully develop a faith-friendly workplace that is respectful of all.


(3) Our Standards Give Companies a Benchmarking Tool

The Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Index was first launched in February 2020, measuring the commitment of Fortune 100 companies to creating faith-friendly and accommodating workplaces through analyzing their public facing diversity, equity, and inclusion website landing pages. The 2020 Index received significant attention, particularly for the companies that were recognized for scoring in the Top Ten.

Since the 2020 REDI Index publication, many companies have become involved, seeing the REDI Index ranking as a way to demonstrate their commitment to religiously accommodating workplaces. The Index was a catalyst for bringing companies like American Airlines, Intel, PayPal, Dell, and American Express together to work with the RFBF in expanding faith and belief accommodation initiatives in corporate America.

The 2021 REDI Index was published in February of 2021 and expanded the analysis to the Fortune 200. The impact has accelerated, bringing in new partner companies and organizations, including Google and the EEOC.

The 2022 REDI Index will expand further by allowing companies to self-report their activities and progress towards workplace religious accommodation.

(4) RFBF’s Reach is Global

RFBF works closely with international organizations including the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Global Compact and the Vatican.

Our marquee Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards have been presented biennially since 2016 by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) through a collaborative agreement with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The Awards, presented in the same spirit as the Nobel Peace Prize, salute CEOs of organizations that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to advancing interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace worldwide.

Previous CEO nominees and recipients come from companies as diverse as Ernst & Young, Hyundai, Kimberly, and Berkshire Capital. For the Awards this year, to be held in Tokyo in August, nominees include the CEOs of Intel Corporation and Tyson Foods. At the most recent Awards, held in Seoul in February 2018, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon provided the keynote address, calling on businesses to promote interfaith understanding and peace throughout Asia and the world.

Since 2016, at the suggestion of Christophe de Kepper, Director in Charge of the International Olympic Committee, the Awards have been presented in tandem with the Summer and Winter Paralympics to help bring attention to the peace mission of the Paralympics.

We plan, however, to shift the Awards to a permanent location in 2023. Coinciding with the G20 being held in India in 2023, we will hold the global awards there, which our research has shown to be the most important rising global economic hub. Hosting the Awards there will increase the Awards’ visibility and impact, especially in Asia. India is also an ideal location to showcase the success and influence global corporations such as TATA have had in workplace interfaith diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are currently in conversations with TATA, India’s most successful multi-national corporation, to be our partner in establishing a permanent base in Asia for these global awards.

See below for the stories of 24 business leaders whom we have honored previously, and who continue to be our partners in advancing interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace worldwide.