EY launches religious literacy training program for organizations

London, 6 February 2017

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EY has announced the launch of Religious Literacy for Organisations (RLO), a diversity and inclusion training program designed to help organizations better understand religious inclusion and its positive impact on business process and performance. Developed in collaboration with Coexist House, an organization dedicated to transforming public understanding of the practices and perspectives of the world’s religions, and with research from Professor Adam Dinham, an expert in faith and public policy at Goldsmiths, University of London, the program can support organizations and their people to take effective steps toward religious literacy and their perceptions of religious diversity.

Increasing demands for more impactful religious inclusion from government, workplaces and society are driving businesses to identify what is meant by religious literacy and why it is important. The Pew Research Center1 estimates that religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe represent 84% of the world’s population. Yet, secular assumptions still prevail, that religion is private and many organizations find faith a difficult social aspect to address.

Adam Dinham, Professor of Faith & Public Policy and Director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London says:

“The concept of religious literacy starts from the observation that there is a lack of understanding about religion and belief in the workplace. However, it is not about religious education, or necessarily about having more religion in the workplace, rather, it is about having the confidence and skills to deal effectively and positively with religion and belief issues when they occur.”

As more evidence shows that recognizing religious diversity within the workplace can improve recruitment, retention of employees and team cohesion as well as maintaining an inclusive culture and enhancing brand and reputation, organizations will increasingly want to shift the dial on diversity.

The RLO program outlines what is meant by religious literacy and can help participants to explore their own perspectives of religion and belief, and to challenge their own thinking through interactive questions and answers. Participants are provided with views from selected leaders and professionals providing their own personal experiences of faith within the workplace and are provided with practical examples to help foster inclusion within a religiously diverse workforce. They will also be equipped with the skills and knowledge to ask more informed questions and provided with examples of how to recognize and foster inclusion within their teams.

Kamran Malik, EY Global Learning and Digital Engagement Leader, People Advisory Services, says:

“Rather than taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, the EY RLO toolkit provides a framework that can be integrated into a business’s existing suite of inclusive learning tools to amplify and add value to working relationships. Its application can help businesses recognize that a religious diversity framework can be used to support team cohesion, satisfaction and performance; attract and retain talent, customers, clients and partners; as well as enhance stakeholder experience and client relations.”

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Notes to Editors

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As the world continues to be impacted by globalization, demographics, technology, innovation and regulation, organizations are under pressure to adapt quickly and build agile people cultures that respond to these disruptive forces. EY People Advisory Services believes a better working world is helping our clients harness their people agenda — the right people, with the right capabilities, in the right place, for the right cost, doing the right things.

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1 The Pew Research Center, 2012: The Global Religious Landscape