Faith-friendly Organizations Mitigate Risk
Silver Pearl 2
Competencies: Organization (Technical), People (Technical), Workplace (Technical) | Intended Audience: Beginner (Committing to I&D), Senior-Level (Elevating DEI), Intermediate (Fostering DEI)
Learn why the EEOC recommends religious inclusion as smart DEI strategy.
Session seating is first come, first served. Thank you for your cooperation.
Religious (or spiritual or ethical) identity is a significant dimension of many people's lives. Despite this reality, few organizations are “faith-friendly.” David Miller, Director of the Faith & Work Initiative at Princeton University, defines a “faith-friendly” company as one that recognizes the centrality of faith for many employees, welcomes all traditions equally, and goes beyond compliance-based religious accommodation to ensure employee belonging extends to the religious dimensions of their identities.
Many leaders assume that organizational religious inclusion strategies must be fraught with legal risk. As a result, religion is often left out of DEI strategies. While much excellent work has been done to increase a sense of belonging across race-, gender-, sexuality-, ability- and age-based dimensions of employees’ identities, employees’ religious, spiritual, and ethical selves generally go unwelcomed.
The assumption that religious-inclusion initiatives carry significant risk is countered directly by EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas, who recommends a faith-friendly approach like the one Miller advocates as the legally safest approach for organizations when it comes to addressing the religious dimensions of their employees’ identities. In this session, attendees will learn more about Commissioner Lucas’s (and other experts’) recommendations and leave better equipped to lead organizational conversations about the benefits of promoting religious inclusion at work.
- Compare a faith-friendly approach to other approaches for dealing with issues of religious identity at work.
- List a few concrete examples of faith-friendly policies and practices.
- List a few benefits of implementing a faith-friendly approach as part of broader DEI and belonging strategies.
- Assess your organization’s current approach to (or appetite for) religious inclusion.
- Identify at least one concrete next step for advancing religious-inclusion conversations at you organization.