Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

facebook twitter instragram Threads Youtube
facebook twitter instragram Threads Youtube
Global Companies Honored for Appreciating Religious Diversity in the Workplace 
By ISKCON News   |  May 29, 2024

Yachneet Pushkarna, CEO of HARIBOL Foods, Sonia from American Airlines, and Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON’s Global Minister of Communications.

On May 21-22nd, the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF) hosted its fifth annual Faith@Work Conference, a global platform that welcomed business and religious leaders from around the world. The event was held at the prestigious Catholic University of America’s School of Business in Washington, DC. Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON’s Global Minister of Communications, and Yachneet Pushkarna, CEO of HARIBOL Foods, were among this year’s participants.

Founded in 2014 by Dr. Brian Grim, the RFBF aims to educate “the global business community, policymakers, non-government organizations, and consumers about the positive power that faith and religious freedom for all (including those with no religious faith) have on workplaces and the economy.”

RFBF founder Dr. Brian Grim speaking at event.

Anuttama Dasa noted, “The Foundation promotes an understanding within business communities that appreciating and facilitating religious diversity is good for business.” He continued, “One of the things I found most interesting was the impact of diversity on innovation. Some corporations have discovered that intentionally promoting interactions between different people of faiths (or no faith) increases innovation within their companies.”

Global employers like American Airlines, Dell, Accenture, Merk, and others have championed the “bring your whole self to work” environment. Their recognition at the event underscores the global impact of their initiatives. These companies have learned that when employees’ religious commitments are honored and their religious identity welcomed, they feel more appreciated and connected to the company. “By promoting dialogue between different religious affiliations within the company, employees better understand one another,” said Anuttama. A simple example that many have adopted is for companies to support the celebration of different religious holidays. They have found it fosters a greater sense of belonging and cohesion within work teams.

Companies like American Airlines, one of several honored at the event, have promoted the formation of religious Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), made up of Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or other faith groups among their employees. Supporting these kinds of ERGs in the workplace was one of the indexes by which the RFBF measures how friendly companies are to religion and religious diversity.

Anuttama Dasa and Yachneet outside the venue with Washington DC’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in background.

Yachneet Pushkarna, CEO of HARIBOL Foods, based in India, brought a unique perspective to the gathering.  Recently, his company was recognized (link to WEF article) by the World Economic Forum as one of the top five businesses in the world that has created a successful collaboration between business and religion. Run by Krishna devotees, HARIBOL Foods has a “Bhakti Yoga in Business” vision that shapes its mission, business strategies, processes, and products. Speaking about the event, Yachneet said, “Such a gathering is a true reflection of how the confluence of faith in business is now mainstream and being recognized globally. It’s a significant change in the way global organizations see the role of faith.”

To learn more about ISKCON Communications and the different outreach programs they support, visit its website. To discover more about HARIBOL Foods expanding programs with ISKCON temples globally, visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.