How Embracing Religious Diversity & Inclusion Strengthens Workplaces

A meeting on the challenges and opportunities facing business leaders with the increasing presence of religious beliefs in a diverse workforce, hosted by the Religious Freedom Center (RFC) of the Freedom Forum in partnership with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

Thursday, Dec. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern

Zeroing in on Your Company’s Issues

Each company has a unique position in the marketplace, a uniquely diverse workforce and a customer base more religiously diverse than ever before. Yet 36 percent of American workers have experienced or witnessed faith-based discrimination or non-accommodation in the workplace.

We invite you to attend this special summit to explore ways your company can best meet the specific needs of the organization, your employees and consumers. In just two hours online, we can outline proven programs to help develop an environment of Religious Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (RDE&I) and start the process of designing a training curriculum reflective of your specific circumstances and context.

Free Bonus

All registrants can participate in our free Cultural Diversity survey through the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation's partnership with Diversity Atlas. You can anonymously complete the 3-minute survey and we'll reveal the rich diversity make-up of participants at the Dec. 3 event! We can offer this amazing tool as part of our training programs to assess and monitor diversity within companies and organizations. In addition to standard demographic and diversity categories such as gender, age and veteran status, the tool measures demographics and intersectional data across the four interconnected cultural diversity pillars:
  1. 1. Religion and Worldview (more than 7,900 religions, branches and denominations included)
  2. 2. Country of Birth (United Nations list of countries and independent territories)
  3. 3. Language (more than 7,900 spoken languages worldwide included)
  4. 4. Ethnicity & Race (more than 8,000 different global ethnic groups included).
For more information see Diversity Atlas (link)
This summit is made possible by generous support from:
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
Templeton Religion Trust

THE CHALLENGE: Within the business community, many leaders receive little to no education about the significance of religious liberty, religious diversity, and religious inclusion in business and how it impacts the bottom line. As a result, many fail to build strategies, practices and protocols that reflect appropriate religious understanding, accommodations, HR policies. This can result in significant costs and losses, ranging from missed market opportunities, lower employee morale and retention to lawsuits and litigation.

THE OPPORTUNITY: Through the experts from the RFC’s Executive Seminars & Training offerings, seminar participants will learn how religious liberty, religious diversity, and religious inclusion fit into business strategy, corporate policy, and economic growth. Additionally, participants will receive information about strategies for their businesses to navigate religious freedom in the workplace and learn about the approach to developing a company-wide appreciation for employees’ religious needs.


Opening Plenary

Stephanie Vander Zanden
Brian Grim
Paul Lambert

Religious Inclusion: Diversity's Next Big Thing

The prevailing philosophy for decades has been to avoid talking about religion at work.  This position, however, denies employees the opportunity to bring their whole selves to work, and in doing so requires them to suppress a critical part of their identify.

Stephanie Vander Zanden will share how successful organizations balance faith in the workplace with creating an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. 

Brian Grim will then provide a look at lessons from companies that got it right, focusing on the all-important issue of WHY this is important for business success in increasingly diverse workplaces. 

The session ends with Paul Lambert summarizing the basics of establishing environments of accommodation at work, leading into the breakout sessions where participants will have a chance for Q&A.

Breakout A: Religious Literacy at Work

Kristen Farrington
Paul Lambert

The Religious Freedom Center is a leader in religious literacy training for businesses, schools and civic organizations. The Center's mission is to educate the public about religion, law and civic engagement so that our communities are equipped to protect the rights of people of all religious traditions and none. Learn more about the Center's approach and offerings during this session.

Break-out B: Building a Successful Faith-Based Employee Resource Group

Kent Johnson, J.D.
Brian Grim

Companies are increasingly intrigued or concerned about the growing emphasis on religious diversity at work. Faith-and-belief Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are one successful way to promote workplace religious diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Kent Johnson will discuss best practices and take questions on building a successful faith-based ERG.

Closing Plenary

Paul Lambert
Brian Grim
Gene Policinski

Paul Lambert discusses how adopting an "Accommodation Mindset" sends two clear messages to current and prospective employees: (1) you can work here without changing who you are; and (2) the company respects all employees and will not favor certain employees over others, and that’s good for the business of all.

Brian Grim then unveils the results of the Diversity Atlas survey of participants and discusses how this amazing tool can be used as part of our training programs to assess and monitor diversity within companies and organizations.

And Gene Policinski recaps the summit and invites all to keep the discussion going.


The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute is a nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment. Click for more.

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is the preeminent organization dedicated to educating the global business community, policymakers, non-government organizations and consumers about the positive power that faith — and religious freedom for all — has on business and the economy. Click for more.