Religious Inclusion in the Workplace with Prof. Binna Kandola | Facing History & Ourselves
Facing History & Ourselves
Facing History speaker in front of audience

Religious Inclusion in the Workplace with Prof. Binna Kandola

Much emphasis has been placed in recent times on racial and gender inclusivity, but an area that's often overlooked is religious inclusion.

On 21 November, we held an exclusive speaker event with Prof. Binna Kandola that offered a sneak-peak of Pearn Kandola’s latest research into religion in the workplace. Kindly hosted by one of our Corporate Partners, Brown Rudnick LLP, our guests joined us for an insightful evening discussing the importance of religious inclusion at work.

Prof. Kandola in action

The presentation in full swing with a rapt audience.

Discussion and drinks

Guests were able to informally discuss issues raised in the earlier presentation with canapes and drinks.

Prof. Kandola spoke about how organisations may believe that they are promoting religious inclusivity, but their employees do not necessarily agree. Religion at work is a topic that is largely overlooked by organisations and within organisational research even though for people who have a faith, this is an important part of their lives and identity.

While describing the existing evidence which suggests that religious employees may be experiencing barriers to the expression of religious identity at work, Prof. Kandola emphasised that the research around the topic of religion at work is extremely limited. Pearn Kandola’s ‘Religion at Work’ research project aims to raise awareness around employee experiences of expressing religious identity at work. He described how the research seeks to understand the experiences of people who have a faith in the workplace; the obstacles they face regarding religious expression; and what organisations can do to create more inclusive environments.

Pearn Kandola’s latest research into religious inclusion in the workplace.

The Report found that those who have shared their religious beliefs at work have experienced a variety of outcomes. When working within a diverse organisation with an open and inclusive culture, outcomes are often positive. Within these organisations, relationships between co-workers are improved as people are interested in learning more about religious beliefs and offer support and encouragement to those who would like to observe or express their beliefs at work. 

However, the research has highlighted that a large number of people do not feel comfortable expressing their religious beliefs at work. When an organisation lacks this sense of inclusion and openness, employees may fear the consequences of expressing their religious beliefs, or face judgement and exclusion if they decide to disclose their beliefs.

Pearn Kandola propose four recommendations to overcome barriers to religious expression at work and create the conditions for religious expression to result in positive outcomes:

  1. Review existing policies and procedures
  2. Take an individualised approach
  3. Develop skills and knowledge
  4. Develop an inclusive culture

Read the Religion at Work (2023) report for the full details.

Watch the presentation and Q&A

Watch the presentation and Q&A

Listen to Prof. Binna Kandola speak about religious inclusion in the workplace, with data from Pearn Kandola’s 2023 survey.

As one of Facing History's Board of Scholars, Prof. Kandola has been a long-standing supporter of our work. The topic aligns closely with our work to support teachers to make classrooms safe and inclusive spaces, where young people are informed about and can connect to those with differing religious beliefs.

You can find out more about our resources below.