Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


BYU Marriott School of Business NAC Presentation Notes & Visuals – 9/24/21 – Brian Grim (bio)

An amazing movement is spreading within American corporations. They’re becoming more faith friendly. It’s been decades in the making for some, like Texas Instruments. For others, like Salesforce, it’s new and rapidly growing. The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s REDI Index finds this trend is propelled by company-sponsored faith-oriented employee groups and other programs. Google, Intel, American Express and others score highly for supporting such initiatives. American Airlines does too. One of their Chief Flight Controllers is also a priest and company chaplain. In fact, Tyson Foods has chaplains on staff across America serving the needs of all employees regardless of faith or belief. Why do these companies do it? It’s good for employees. It gives them a competitive advantage. And that’s good for America.

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is humbled to be recognized as being at the forefront this movement by these companies and many more. Our approach in a nutshell: We focus on BUILDING religious freedom for all (including those with no faith) rather than on advocacy. And that approach fits business – businesses BUILD!

^ Notes: What’s the response to the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation? Top Fortune 500 companies are looking to us for leadership and allyship. In fact, American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, is a longterm partner in our Dare to Overcome global initiative held this year in tandem with the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, highlighting how religious inclusion benefits all. They’re working with us to take this message from Tokyo this year, to Washington DC next year, and onwards to India in 2023!

^ Notes: As an example of our impact, Google held the global premier of their IBN Network Video (produced by an Emmy Award-winning director) at our 2021 Faith@Work conference, where BYU Marriott School of Business Dean Brigitte Madrian was also a keynote speaker. Google also keynoted our recent Dare to Overcome.

^ Notes: Hospitals, prisons and the military have chaplains. What about business? Some companies have faith-and-belief employee resource groups (ERGs), while others have chaplains on staff, and some have both. John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, was recognized in our 2021 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards for being a pioneer in corporate chaplaincy, with 100 full-time chaplains working in scores of plants since 2000.

^ Notes: The above brief testimony shows the personal impact of faith-friendly workplaces, which results in better recruitment, higher retention, and increased revenue. And we help this spread between companies. For instance, we invited Intel and Walmart to co-lead our National Day of Prayer event in 2021. Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger (and BYU supporter King Husein) also received top honors at our 2021 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards. A BYU Marriott School intern, Jade Romano, served as corporate liaison for the awards.

Conclusion: Paul Lambert, Greg Clark, Dr. Christina Clark, and I are honored and thrilled to be here for a month at the invitation of Dean Madrian as visiting fellows to discuss these exciting new trends in corporate America with Marriott School faculty and leadership. We hope you too will lean into this in your own businesses and activities. This has the potential to change not just business, but the world for the better. Indeed, these are global companies and these faith-friendly policies apply to their global operations! Questions?

Suggested NAC “Discussion Questions”

  1. (1) What can the BYU Marriott School of Business do in response to these amazing developments?
  2. (2) What can we do as business people in our own realms of influence?
  3. (3) What impact does this have on the world?


Added Resource (not part of the NAC presentation): Conversation with Cardinal Dolan and Brian Grim

The Conversation with Cardinal Dolan can be shared in advance of the presentation if desired (it will not be used in the presentation). Also, this entire presentation can be shared with members of the NAC, if appropriate.

In 2020, Dr. Brian Grim joined “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan” on SiriusXM The Catholic Channel to share with His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan how FaithA@Work is changing in the modern workplace. Watch his appearance above. The report they discuss is the 2020 REDI Index.