6th June 2008. Over 100 business managers from a wide range of enterprises packed the nave of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace to hear an expert panel of speakers address the role of faith in the workplace.
The evening was chaired by Trevor Philips, OBE, who spoke about the work of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Mr Philips warned that in the future, faith issues in the workplace could begin to divide people. He explained the complexity of faith-based discrimination issues.
Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, told the meeting: “Despite increasing demands for openness and transparency many of the barriers to achieving greater diversity still persist in the workplace. It should be a key concern for employers because they run the risk of wasting a talent pool that already exists.”
Sir Trevor Chinn CVO, Jewish Association of Business Ethics, spoke about the business advantages of having a workforce that reflects the diversity of society. While Mohammed Amin, representative of the Muslim Council of Britain, discussed the ways businesses catered for people of faith and reflected that making these provisions lead to happy workers and greater productivity.
Claire Pedrick, Christian Association of Business Executives, spoke of the need to listen to and be sensitive of the stories of others. The final, entrepreneur Ram Gidoomal, Winning Communications Partnership Limited, also spoke about the need for businesses to cater for the religious needs of their staff but highlighted the responsibility of workers to keep their employers informed as to the nature of the required provisions.
Following questions and discussion from audience members, the Three Faiths Forum Executive Director, Mark Ebert, closed the evening with an appreciation of diversity in today's Britain, saying it is something we must continually strive to maintain. Mr Ebert also launched the Forum’s newest venture, Business Managementors, a mentoring programme for business students of different faiths.
Sir Sigmund Sternberg, co-founder of the Three Faiths Forum stated there will be a follow up to the meeting.
For further information please contact:
The Three Faiths Forum, Star House, 104 Grafton Road, London NW5 4BA