- Google earned the top ranking among Fortune 100 companies for religious inclusion, based on results from the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation's new Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Index. According to the index, most Fortune 100 companies overlook religious inclusion in favor of other diversity initiatives such as race, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability.
- In other index findings, more than half of the Fortune 100 companies' public platforms fail to mention religion or faith. By contrast, racial or ethnic diversity is mentioned 1,000 times on company sites, with references to religion appearing only 92 times. Only 18% of companies have faith-based employee resource groups (ERGs), and of the Fortune 100's 775 ERGs, only 5% are faith-focused.
- Religious Freedom & Business Foundation President Brian Grim said in a media release that religious exclusion can be costly for business, citing as an example a 2017 $25 million lawsuit against Hilton for allegedly failing to provide religious accommodation. "Going beyond the minimum legal requirements, employers are increasingly promoting religious diversity and inclusion in order to strengthen employee recruitment and retention," Grim said. "While companies still have a long way to go to be faith-friendly, with major brands like Walmart, Salesforce, PayPal and others also starting to make this a priority, we are at a tipping point at which we will very likely see greater momentum on this issue in the near future."
Title VII under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on religion. But beyond being a compliance requirement, allowing diverse faith experiences can be advantageous to employers in their struggle to find talent, a Recruiter survey found. Most job seekers prefer employers that are committed to diversity, inclusion and equity, the survey showed. Millennials and Gen Xers, in particular, were more likely than any other generation to value and look for diversity in their job searches.
The recognition of employees' multiple identities, or intersectionality, is central to inclusion in workplaces, according to a study from Bentley University's Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business. Intersectionality can be any combination of identities, such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, cognitive diversity and veteran status. "By taking a broader approach to how we view others, we're less likely to stereotype people or consider them as token representatives of a particular group. And we're more likely to view co-workers as equal partners who deserve our respect," Trish Foster, CWB senior director and lead author of Intersectionality in the Workplace: Broadening the Lens of Inclusion, said in a media release.
One of the most common times for religious diversity to crop up in the workplace may be holidays. In previous interviews with HR Dive, legal experts offered employers these recommendations for handling religious accommodations around holiday observances:
- Anticipate scheduling conflicts.
- Be aware of requests for Family Medical Leave Act leave or personal time off during holiday seasons and the legal complications involved.
- Understand legal responsibilities around religious accommodation.