Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index 2021
See 2021 news coverage.
Measuring the Fortune 200’s commitment to religious inclusion
Second Annual Report, February 9, 2021
Intel and Texas Instruments are the most faith-and-belief friendly corporate workplaces among the 200 largest companies in America as measured by the 2021 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index.
Also among the top 100 companies on the U.S. Fortune 500 list, American Airlines, American Express, Google, Tyson Foods, Dell Technologies, Target, Cigna and Facebook take the second through ninth spots with Fannie Mae and Apple tying for the tenth spot to round out the top companies. Texas Instruments takes the top spot among the Fortune 200 companies for including faith and belief as part of their overall efforts to support equality and inclusion in their workplace, with PayPal and Salesforce also earning very high marks. Aramark and Netflix have the next highest scores among the Fortune 200 group of companies.
This is the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s (RFBF) second annual benchmark assessment of the state of corporate America’s inclusion of religion as an integral part of its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives (see 2020 report and news coverage).
Companies earn scores on the REDI Index based on a careful content analysis of faith-related information on the company’s main diversity and inclusion web landing page – the public face of the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. This includes weighted scores for the number and variety of faith-and belief-based Employee Resource Groups (including atheist/agnostic ERGs) mentioned on the company’s website, as well as weighted scores for public training programs they offer to help other companies embrace workplace religious inclusion. (See Methodology and Topline for fuller discussion and notes on the development of the index.)
The 2021 REDI Index breaks new ground in three ways:
First, it shows change over time among the Fortune 100 companies measured on the REDI Index in the 2020 baseline study. A sign that corporate America may be moving toward giving religion similar attention to that given to the other major diversity categories is that the number of Fortune 100 companies earning a score on the index increased from 53 in 2020 to 59 in 2021.
Second, the index now provides a baseline measure for what we refer to as the Fortune 200; these are the next largest group of companies ranking between 101 and 200 on the Fortune 500 list. This expands the coverage of the index and allows comparisons between different company sizes.
The study finds that company size does not necessarily make a difference in the degree to which a company is religiously inclusive. The REDI Index score for Texas Instruments (the Fortune 200 company with the highest score) is the same as the score for Intel (the highest scoring Fortune 100 company). And the scores for PayPal and Salesforce (the second and third highest-scoring Fortune 200 companies) would also put them in the top 10 Fortune 100 companies.
While this shows that company size may not necessarily make a difference, overall, fewer companies in the Fortune 200 earned a REDI Index score (37 companies) than among the Fortune 100, where 59 companies earned a score. Also, the average REDI score for the Fortune 100 companies is nearly 2.5 times that of the Fortune 200 companies.
It may be that as the activities around religious inclusion in the Fortune 100 companies become better known, more Fortune 200 will follow suit. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting this may be the case as companies outside the Fortune 100 and 200, such as Equinix and SAP, have set up faith-and-belief ERGs in the past year.
And third, the 2021 REDI Index breaks new ground by incorporating a major development that occurred during 2020: Faith-and-Belief ERG Community ‘Training’ Calls. The pandemic year of 2020 was the first time that a range of America’s top companies from multiple industries made systematic and publicly available presentations on best practices to improve workplace religious inclusion. During the shutdowns due to the covid-19 pandemic, faith-oriented ERGs in many companies were called upon to be part of the compassionate response within their companies as well as share their experiences with other companies. Such sharing of best practices is usually done privately or at professional conferences, but as the world learned to replace in-person meetings with video conferencing, the faith-and-belief groups within companies stepped forward.
These video conferences were open to the public and scores of companies freely joined in. During the calls, companies discussed their experiences and their strategies for recognizing religious diversity and creating an inclusive space within their respective corporate cultures. The topics covered in these calls (see below) ranged from faith-oriented ERGs’ responses to COVID-19 to the role and structure of interfaith ERGs in the workplace.
- – American Airlines: Faith-Oriented ERGs’ Response at American Airlines to Covid-19 (6/2/20)
- – American Express: Faith-Oriented ERGs’ Response to COVID-19 (5/5/20)
- – Dell Technologies: An Interfaith Journey (8/4/20)
- – Intel Corporation: Authenticity, Transparency and Trust in the Age of Covid-19 (4/3/20)
- – PayPal: Fostering an Inclusive Culture for All Faiths and Worldviews (9/1/20)
- – Salesforce: Growing Faith-Oriented ERGs at Home and Abroad (7/7/20)
- – Texas Instruments: Bridge-building and Goodwill Across Diversity Groups (10/6/20)
Each company’s willingness to participate in meaningful conversation regarding religious inclusivity in the workplace served as a model for other companies to embrace a dialogue on religion in the workplace. For an example of content shared, see Appendix: Dell Technologies Interfaith Journey Presentation.
Faith-and-Belief ERG Community Calls are an indication that faith-and-belief-friendly workplaces are on the rise across industries and corporate cultures. As these programs continue into 2021, the opportunity for more companies to enter this dialogue and begin sharing their own experience can further contribute to a robust and innovative community of corporations dedicated to improving religious inclusion in the workplace.
… continued top of next column ↑
Top Scoring Companies Among Fortune 100 and Fortune 200
The Intel Corporation is the most religiously inclusive Fortune 100 company in America, according to the 2021 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index.
Intel’s top spot is due in no small part to the significant investment made by the company to incorporate religious diversity into their overall diversity and inclusion framework. Intel’s commitment to religious inclusivity is seen in their willingness to incorporate new employee resource groups (ERGs). Six of the 33 Intel Chartered Employee Resource Groups – or nearly 20% – are specifically faith-or-belief based:
- – Agnostics, Atheists, and Allies at Intel
- – Baha’i Intel Network
- – Intel Bible-Based Christian Network
- – Intel Jewish Community
- – Intel Muslim Employee Group
- – Intel Sikh Employee Group
Intel’s inclusion of a resource group dedicated to Bahá’í believers is notable. Across the entire Fortune 200 companies, no other company provides a dedicated community for practitioners of the Bahá’í faith, which globally has 8.5 million followers according to the World Religion Database. By encouraging one of the smallest world religions to have their own ERG, Intel communicates that it is inclusive of all – including agnostics atheists. It also draws attention to the fact that these groups emerge from grassroots and can be increased as employee interest warrants.
Intel, along with three other Fortune 100 companies, also saw its REDI score increase by hosting public Faith-and-Belief ERG Community ‘Training’ Calls via video conferencing, as described above.
In addition to Intel, American Airlines, American Express and Dell Technologies all moved up in the rankings. As noted in the foreword, while Intel overtook Google in the #1 spot because of its public Faith-and-Belief ERG Community ‘Training’ Calls, on the same day this report is being published, Google is already scoring points for next year’s index by keynoting the second national Faith@Work ERG conference. Indeed, Google is providing an unprecedented look into how and why Google is making inclusion of religion and belief a worldwide diversity objective, as seen through their presentations at the Faith@Work conference as well as an original video introducing IBN, their Inter Belief Network.
Among the top Fortune 100 companies, Tyson Foods and American Airlines both employ chaplains. Tyson Foods, which established its chaplaincy in 2000, employs nearly 100 chaplains to serve the spiritual needs of their employees regardless of religious affiliation or belief. And uniquely, the Chief Flight Dispatcher at American Airlines is also president of the company’s Christian Employee Business Resource Group and company chaplain. Particularly set in the context of health and job insecurities associated with COVID-19 as well as increased remote working, these companies recognize the value of chaplains in providing interpersonal support to sustain healthy working relationships and as central to building faith-friendly workplaces.
The most significant increase in REDI Index rank among the Fortune 100 was Cigna, rising from 29th place (tied) in 2020 to #7 in the 2021 index. The increase was attributable to Cigna’s launch of UpLift, their interfaith ERG that encourages all employees to bring their whole selves to work regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs, practices, or backgrounds. Additionally, their diversity landing page discussed this at length and included 10 or more mentions of religion or faith, matched only by Tyson Foods (see Top Fortune 100 table) and PayPal (see Top Fortune 200 table).
Full results for the Fortune 100 are in the Methodology and Topline section. A description of the faith-oriented diversity programs for each of the top Fortune 100 companies follows the Fortune 200 section.
 Dell Technologies has multiple faith-oriented employee resource chapters as part of their interfaith group (see Appendix). However, a search of Dell’s diversity and ERG websites did not return results for these groups and are therefore uncounted in the Index. See Methodology for a discussion of limitations of this study.
Texas Instruments is the most religiously inclusive Fortune 200 company in America, according to the 2021 Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index. In fact, it’s score ties with Intel, making them also tied for #1 among America’s largest companies. PayPal and Salesforce also have very high scores, putting their workplace religious inclusion initiatives on par with and even exceeding many of the top Fortune 100 companies.
Texas Instruments is a model for companies that desire to create inclusive spaces for people of all faiths. Ellen Barker, Senior Vice President & CIO, has said, “Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they can bring their faith into work.” TI’s pioneering work in religious diversity began in 2001, a time when very few companies had embraced employees’ religious/spiritual identity as one of the key components of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Ever since then, the company has helped others along the way. Recent examples include a workshop that they hosted in 2019 in their global headquarters in Dallas Texas, titled “Religious Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace,” an event that attracted leaders from more than 30 companies. In 2020, TI’s Muslim, Jewish, and Christian ERG’s hosted an event to highlight their values of “Respect, Collaboration, and Inclusion.” By entering into public discussion about religious inclusion and sharing useful information about the practices and tools it’s used to strengthen inclusive workspaces, Texas Instruments has demonstrated a commendable and impactful commitment to religious inclusion.”
PayPal scores as the second most religiously inclusive company in the Fortune 200, according to the REDI Index, having just launched their “Believe” interfaith ERG in 2020. In launching Believe, PayPal stated that “We believe all employees have the right to bring their whole self to work. Faith and worldviews are core to who we are – our values and beliefs – and to how we conduct business.” And they stated that the “mission of Believe is to foster an inclusive work culture and to promote holistic wellbeing by providing a forum to openly exercise and celebrate all faiths and worldviews while working. Believe exists to create awareness and understanding of faith, hope, love, empathy, respect for one another and service toward our customers, communities and co-workers.”
One of the newest and the fastest growing Equality Groups at Salesforce is Faithforce. Faithforce is the interfaith employee resource group at Salesforce focused on celebrating, supporting and fostering understanding of its global faith and spiritual diversity through inclusive and educational events and initiatives. Founded in 2017, Faithforce has thousands of members in 12 regional hubs across 5 continents and is growing fast.
Companies are finding that the value of faith-based ERGs in the workplace is far more than purely optical or statistical. In the case of Salesforce, the role and presence of a community of faith within their corporate culture allowed for tangible community building and support during a time of tremendous emotional vulnerability. Following the 2019 Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff utilized the resources and language of Faithforce to put out a substantive message of support and host a religious vigil in memorial of family members of Salesforce staff that had been lost in the tragedy. This moment, despite being a moment of extreme loss, provided an opportunity for Salesforce to exist as more than simply a workplace, but as a source of human empathy and support. Particularly in the context of 2020, the volatile and traumatic events of this year demonstrate the value of faith ERGs to respond to crises in a way that companies may otherwise not be adept to do.
Indeed, as Faithforce shows, including faith-oriented ERGs is much more than ticking another box for diversity – it is a substantial contribution to a company’s resiliency in times of uncertainty.
DOWNLOAD FULL STUDY for methodology, topline, appendices and additional information on each of the top-scoring companies.