By Emily Drooby
A person’s ability to bring their whole self to work, faith and all, is an issue that people face every single day.
America’s top companies are doing something about it.
Sue Warnke experienced a powerful moment when an employee of her company, Salesforce, thanked her following an interfaith event held after the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.
That employee was a family member of one of the victims.
The event was run by Faithforce, Salesforce’s interfaith employee resource group.
Faithforce helps bring kosher and halal food to the office, holds interfaith events and promotes a safe place to pray and meditate at work.
It’s just one of many faith resource groups popping up at some of the largest companies across the country.
On the new frontier in diversity, their presence is growing.
Employees from many corporations met Feb. 14 at a conference organized by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation.
“This conference has shown the world now that faith is welcome inside of corporate America,” explained Brian Grim, president of the organization.
The big goal? Provide best practices to everyone there, like Father Greg McBrayer, chaplain and chief dispatcher of American Airlines, which has policies similar to Faithforce.
“We find our faith at the foundation of who we are,” he explained, “so to be able to bring that into the workplace where we deal with anxieties and stresses of our jobs and our professions, is absolutely needed.”
The Anglican priest wears a collar to work and feels like he can be his true self while at his job.
The groundbreaking conference, co-hosted by the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America, has been an inspiring sight for students.
“It gives me so much hope as a young business student to know that one day maybe I can go out and work for one of these companies, and I don’t have to be worried about wearing my crucifix to work every day,” said Madeleine Naleski, a student at the business school.
Hope was not in short supply at this conference, but one thing is apparent: when it comes to religious inclusion in the workplace there’s still so much work to be done.
Still, from here, the future looks bright.