Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Largest Ever Religion & Work Survey

29 Nov, 2023

On November 28, 2023, consulting firm Pearn Kandola released the largest-ever survey of religion in the workplace, with over 6,000 participants in the UK and US from six different faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism.

From the study summary:

“Organisations may believe that they are promoting religious inclusivity but their employees do not necessarily agree. Religion at work is a topic that is largely overlooked by organisations and within organisational research even though for people who have a faith, this is an important part of their lives and identity.

Whilst some initial evidence exists to suggest that religious employees may be experiencing barriers to the expression of religious identity at work, the research around the topic of religion at work is extremely limited. We lack a clear understanding of the barriers that religious employees face at work, particularly within the UK. Pearn Kandola’s ‘Religion at Work’ research project aims to raise awareness around employee experiences of expressing religious identity at work. We set out to understand the experiences of people who have a faith in the workplace; the obstacles they face regarding religious expression; and what organisations can do to create more inclusive environments.”

Read the full report here.

Some of the key findings were:

In 2021, Pearn Kandola using contacts within faith groups and the online research recruitment platform, Prolific, 6,315 participants across six religious groups took part in the survey. Participants were eligible to participate if they lived in the UK or US and were a follower of Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Christianity.

The Pearn Kandola study also did in-depth qualitative interviews with a smaller group of respondents. In 2022, a follow-up qualitative survey was carried out to explore some of the issues that had emerged in more depth. 470 people participated in this part of the research

Comparison between UK and US responses

Pearn Kandola proposes the following recommendations to overcome barriers to religious expression at work and create the conditions for religious expression to result in positive outcomes:


Groundbreaking report released at UK Parliament

26 Nov, 2023

Roadmap for governmental thought on business & freedom of religion or belief (FoRB)

Foreword by Jim Shannon MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief

The Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is a touchstone human right. It enters every aspect of our lives, not only in religious practice. Whether in home life, the workplace, recreation, or any other setting, our belief systems, backgrounds, and identities travel with us. This report is a much-needed step in developing governmental thought on FoRB and business, showcasing the fantastic steps which businesses across the world, including many in the UK, are taking to promote “covenantal pluralism” in their workplaces.

The report is unique in that it provides a very practical toolkit for businesses to promote FoRB, thus improving employee experience and business output. The recommendations, tried and proven by top corporations, will prove valuable in promoting fundamental human rights in organic ways, through the “building method” of FoRB promotion.

When building, we seek to promote openness and acceptance of various religious and belief backgrounds, including those of no belief. In so doing, we feel free to express ourselves in a more authentic way, allowing for greater trust and cooperation among colleagues.

As a parliamentarian, I look forward to the combination of “building” and “advocacy” strategies playing out in the business world and in parliament. There is much we can learn in government from such positive methods. I look forward to applying the recommendations in my own work as an MP, with the hope that our diversity and celebration of FoRB will blossom, laying the foundation for FoRB policy innovations that may benefit millions.

Read full report.

Keynoting American Airlines Diwali Celebration

18 Nov, 2023

By Brian Grim

On Thursday evening, I had the honor of delivering the keynote at the 25th annual Diwali celebration at American Airlines HQ in Dallas. I focused on the value of religious freedom to economies and the competitive edge that American Airlines has as a top faith-friendly workplace.

I also participated on the panel “Global Harmony at Work: Fostering Cultural Exchanges in Corporate Setting” featuring American Airlines VP Om Maniyar, McKesson’s Winston Lam and Equinix’s Mahendra Jha, moderated by Charles Sucur, Director of Corporate Security Technology at American Airlines.

The event — attended by hundreds — was organized by the airline’s Indian Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG), which was also celebrating it’s 25th anniversary.

According to Soniya Hiremath, president of the DFW I-EBRG, the colorful event “showed how Diwali, the festival of lights, illuminates our workplaces with joy, camaraderie, and cultural significance. Celebrating Diwali at work fosters inclusivity, strengthens bonds, and enriches the understanding of diverse traditions.”

The event centered on educating American Airlines team members on the importance of EBRGs, being allies of other EBRGs, while bringing the cultural contributions of Indian team members and the I-EBRG to the workplace.

Senior American Airline leaders participating included VPs Kimberly Cisek, Om Maniyar, Chief Technology Officer Anchal Gupta, Chief Diversity Officer Cedric Rockamore, Senior Diversity Director Millicent Washington Rone ( MBA, ITIL) and many more!

“Listen & Learn” /together

9 Nov, 2023

A /together* webinar exploring how we can bring people together and heal divisions arising from the Israel/Gaza conflict

The /together coalition is pleased to share the incredible set of experts and members of the Jewish and Muslim communities sharing on Monday’s ‘Chatham House rule’ webinar.

Join us this Monday 13th November for a Listen and Learn Webinar on Addressing Community Tensions 💬

📅 When: Monday, November 13th at 11am UK time / 6am NYC time

🌐 Register here:

Our focus will not be on the events in Israel-Palestine but on showcasing best practices and practical advice for addressing community tensions right here in the UK.

Please share this invitation with your networks.

🤝 This will be a private Chatham House Rules event, ensuring open and candid discussions.

* Together is a coalition that everyone is invited to join, from individuals and community groups to the UK’s best known businesses and organisations. Our aim is to build kinder, closer and more connected communities by bringing people together and bridging divides.


  • – Sunder Katwala, Director, British Future Councillor
  • – Peray Ahmet, Leader, Haringey Council
  • – Ali Amla, Founder, Solutions Not Slides
  • – Iman Abou Atta, Director, Tell MAMA
  • – Bishop Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford
  • – Dr Lindsay Simmonds, London School of Jewish Studies
  • – Julie Siddiqi, Faith Relations Expert
  • – Salil Tripathi, Senior Adviser Global Issues Institute for Human Rights
  • – Brian Grim, President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation
  • – Dame Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner, Commission for Countering Extremism

Join us for a conversation with community organisations and public and private sectors voices actively working to address tensions in the UK arising from the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

Since the pogrom in Israel on 7th October and the subsequent conflict in Gaza, anti-semitic hate and islamophobia have soared in the UK. Many organisations and communities are having to deal with grief, anger, hurt and division over the conflict.

In line with our mission to create kinder, closer and more connected communities in the UK, this event will be an opportunity for organisations to listen and learn — showcasing best practice and tangible advice from organisations and individuals who are working to address the tensions in British communities, rather than a discussion on current events in the Israel-Palestine.

This webinar presents a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how your organisation can proactively deal with current tensions and support your employees, volunteers, members, and more.

Building FoRB through Faith-and-Belief Friendly Workplaces

7 Nov, 2023

Join us in London on Monday, 20th Nov. 2023, for an exciting event focused on promoting freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) through faith-and-belief friendly workplaces. A new report from the APPG FoRB will detail how everyone in every workplace can advance freedom of religion or belief for all through practical initiatives such as employee resource groups (ERGs), and benchmark progress in faith-and-belief-friendly workplaces through the Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index.

This in-person event will took place at Palace of Westminster, London, UK (Committee Room 18). We explored how workplaces worldwide can foster an inclusive environment that respects and values diverse faiths and beliefs.

This report is a practical outcome of the July 10th meeting of the APPG FoRB on this same topic.

Hosted by the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.


2023 International Ministerial on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Prague

7 Nov, 2023

By Brian Grim

Following the Nov. 20th launch at the UK Parliament of the report “Building FoRB through faith-and-belief friendly workplaces“,  I’ll be participating in the 2023 International Ministerial on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in Prague.

I’ll be part of the Donors Session, which seeks to: 1) cultivate new FoRB donors who could become part of FoRB Funding Partnerships in each region; and 2) encourage corporations to engage in the FoRB movement by building FoRB in the workplace, supporting economic empowerment programs, and engaging governments cooperatively and constructively as economic partners.

How workplaces are navigating the war

7 Nov, 2023

The Israel-Hamas War is inflaming tensions inside companies. How are they responding?

The WSJ’s article covers some  of the responses from companies. Recognizing the highly charged feelings of many and the ongoing hot conflict, many companies are putting out statements expressing sympathy for the innocent victims on all sides. For a thoughtful example, see “Living our values,” the statement that Julie Sweet, Chair and Chief Executive Officer at Accenture, sent out to all employees:

Now more than ever

20 Oct, 2023

We need freedom of religious expression in business

By Kent Johnson, J.D., Senior Corporate Advisor

A family member asked me: “Doesn’t the war in Israel and Gaza show that religious zealotry fuels terrorism? Why, then, do you continue to argue for freedom of religious expression in business?”

It’s an apt question. It deserves a solid answer.

Of course, every terrorist event carries its own backstory; and it’s counterproductive to conclude broadly that terrorism is motivated by “religious belief,” or political expedience, or some other cause. That said, I see strong reason to favor freedom of religious expression in business and society at large.

My reason is twofold, drawn from extensive experience we’ve garnered with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation:

First, demonstrably, the alternative is far worse. Attempts to stifle open religious expression yield heightened suspicion, distrust and alienation among people of varied faiths.

Attempts at stifling religious expression drive religious expression “underground.” The only permitted religious expressions are those shared with people of one’s own religion. There’s no cross-fertilization of ideas. Distrust and fear is multiplied across religious and cultural lines.

The vast majority of religious people promote peace and acknowledge the profound value of every human being. Stifling their voices would cripple a powerful ideological force for peace and harmony.

It’s far better to know what the “others” are saying and believing, than to be forced to guess.

Second, our considerable experience and research demonstrates the positive, peaceful, reconciling effect of religious freedom. Again and again in business settings, the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation has witnessed how freedom of religious expression enables and nurtures strong cross-cultural alliances. We have yet to hear of instances of significant conflict arising out of freedom of religion in business; and we’ve seen many, many instances of deep, sincere connection across religions.

Our experience demonstrates that freedom of religion promotes civility. We need this. PERHAPS NOW MORE THAN EVER.

Read more from Kent Johnson at Authenticity & Connection.

Business, goodwill, and making space for wholeness

20 Oct, 2023

A conversation about companies as systems of care.

We invite you to be part of this dynamic conversation with Brian Grim and James Rhee about how companies can support employees and relationships based on trust, respect, and authenticity, while reaching their financial goals.

The first part of the dialogue with Brian and James will last 45-60 minutes. We will then invite everyone to join breakout groups for 20~ minutes to connect and deepen the insights, together!

Tuesday, October 31

10am MX | 12pm NYC | 1pm BR | 5pm LIS

Subtitles in English, Spanish, and Portuguese will be available


James Rhee is an acclaimed impact investor, CEO, educator and founder of red helicopter. He marries the principles of finance and behavioral science with the creative process, unleashing brand narratives and organizational systems that have agile and structural integrity. He has implemented processes related to multi-stakeholder capitalism and multi-dimensional change, mobilized powerful and diverse ecosystems, and reimagined the future of work. He has been featured by TED Conferences, Brene Brown and Simon Sinek, and currently teaches his philosophies at Howard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Brian Grim is the founder of Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, and global chairman of Dare to Overcome, a corporate diversity initiative that promotes mutual respect and engagement among differing groups in the workplace. He is an expert at generating clear, rigorous, and comprehensive data about the international religious landscape and its socio-economic impact. Among other things, he has worked closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact, has been chair and speaker for the World Economic Forum on matters of faith, and director at Pew Research Center.

REGISTER for this enriching conversation and community-building experience!

Explore the Spiritual Changemakers Initiative website.

Hope in a world aflame 🔥

18 Oct, 2023

Standing beside the vulnerable

Tensions are not just deadly in Israel and Gaza. On Monday, a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy in Illinois was killed by being stabbed 26 times simply for being Muslim, according to police. Antisemitic acts are reportedly spiking at the same time.

Muslim and Jewish populations across the world are facing threats of violence and revenge for actions they have no part in as the Israel-Hamas war generates more hate and innocent deaths on both sides.

I call on each of us to do what we can in our own spheres of influence to combat hate. This may be as simple as letting your Muslim and Jewish friends know that you recognize the vulnerability they are not just feeling, but are experiencing wherever they might be.

For additional ideas on what you can do, see the recently released Allied Against Hate: A Toolkit for Faith Communities, which the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation contributed to.

Brian Grim, Ph.D.
Dare to Overcome Global Chairman
Religious Freedom & Business Foundation President