U.S. Fortune 500 companies ranked as the most “faith friendly” in a newly released survey share practices such as providing chaplains and spiritual care in the workplace, openly addressing religion in company diversity training and matching worker contributions to religious charities.
Intel Corp., American Airlines and Equinix ranked first, second and third respectively among American corporations in those and numerous other categories measured in the fourth annual Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Index and Monitor produced by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation.
The organization also reported that 219 (44%) of the companies surveyed include some sort of reference to religion on their diversity landing pages, a 40% increase from 2022. The number of companies that publicly reported having faith-based Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, rose from 37 to 48 firms in the last year.
The index also found 80% of companies surveyed keep track of how religion affects stakeholders, 92% accommodate the religious needs of staff and 96% have transparent mechanisms for reporting discrimination based on faith.
“No one should have to worry about hiding their beliefs out of fear of facing harassment, hate or discrimination in our country,” foundation President Brian Grim said in the May 22 release of the index.
“We’re amazed by the momentum that is building toward religiously inclusive and faith-friendly workplaces — 50% more companies are benchmarking progress in this area than were last year, three-times more companies are utilizing corporate chaplains, and there is greater collaboration than ever before among companies. We are truly seeing a growing movement of religious inclusion in the workplace.”
PayPal, SalesForce, Dell Technologies, AIG, Tyson Foods, Google, Texas Instruments, American Express, Target, CMS Energy and Ford Motor Co. were among other companies rated highly for respecting faith, according to the index.
International companies also were ranked for their religion-friendly environments. The top three Global Fortune 500 corporations were Accenture, SAP America, and Robert Bosch. “Also, smaller companies participated including Qualtrics, ServiceNow, and Kaiser Permanente, becoming the first health system to participate in the REDI Index,” the foundation reported.
“For the first time, three European-based companies participated in the REDI Index survey: Italy-based TeaPak (a Yogi Tea partner), UK-based OVO Energy, and NATS (the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services).”
In addition, the index tracked the practices of companies that did not participate in the survey, the foundation said. The leading faith-friendly corporation in that category was Wayfair, an online home décor and furniture company. “Other top-scorers include: Ameriprise Financial, Aramark, Block, Cigna, IQVIA Holdings, KeyCorp, MGM Resorts International, Netflix, Northern Trust, PNC Financial Services Group, Qurate Retail, Securian Financial Group, and Uber Technologies.”
Naomi Kraus, global chair for Google’s Inter Belief Network, said in the announcement that Employee Resource Groups can be effective tools for combatting religious discrimination and antisemitism in the workplace.
“In my 10-plus years at Google, I’ve watched this tech company evolve and embrace the inclusion movement, encouraging Googlers to bring their whole selves to work,” she said. “One’s faith and ethnic identity is very much a part of that process, but as of late, many have become more wary of expressing it due to the hate they fear they may experience. Businesses must take steps to end the scourge of antisemitism and to support their Jewish employees.”
The foundation added that more companies are catching on to that trend as evidenced by a 50% increase in survey participation in 2023.
“It demonstrates that the bench-marking metrics apply across industries as well as countries. And, with the new participation of three energy companies (CMS Energy, NextEra Energy and OVO Energy), there’s growing power behind this benchmarking initiative,” the report said.