How often do you talk about religion at work?
It used to be on the list of ‘what not to talk about at work’ or in ‘mixed company’ (I never liked that phase, but I digress…)
I like to ask, “In December, what days are your offices closed?”
This is a question I often ask when companies say they are open to all faiths and religions. I don’t argue with them, but being ‘open’ and being ‘inclusive’ are not the same in practice. There are over 14 religious holidays just in December, yet most companies create their holiday schedules based on the Christian calendar and sometimes the Jewish calendar.
Religion should be part of the conversation when discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. If not, ask yourself why. It’s easy to say you support all religions, backgrounds, and faiths, but what does that look like in practice?
As we continue conversations on flexibility at work, start to think creatively about how to structure time off for the holidays – and any time of the year. What would it look like if offices weren’t closed on Christmas day? What would change? Could employees ‘swap’ their day off to a day that works best for them during that time? What if they are agnostic?
Take a moment to think about how this shift can fundamentally change your organization’s culture and increase awareness, openness, and inclusion for those who have historically taken time from vacation to celebrate their faith.
Let’s start the conversation about religion at work now.
In this episode, I chat with consultant Rahimeh Ramazany about including religion as a part of DEI efforts, understanding religious beliefs, and creating places and spaces for people to learn and practice their faiths in inclusive environments.
Join us tomorrow at 5:15p ET on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform to listen in. This episode of DEI After 5 is such a critical conversation that all practitioners should listen to and take note.
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