According to a recent and apparently unique study by the Business Freedom and Religion Foundation called the Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index, “most of America’s Fortune 100 companies have well-developed diversity, equity and inclusion programs, sometimes headed by a senior C-suite director.” The 2020 REDI Index ranked the top religion-friendly Fortune 100 companies for the first time. Three of the top ten religion-friendly companies are among those leading research and development of AI: Alphabet/Google, Facebook, and Apple.
The study sought to identify the range of faith traditions represented in such ERGs. It found that the most faith-friendly companies were those operating on a broad, interfaith spectrum. For example, the study assigned the pole position for the entire ranking to Google based on the following considerations:
“Alphabet/Google scores highest on the REDI because of the number and diversity of faith- and belief-based Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) mentioned on the company’s website. Google’s Inter Belief Network (IBN) aims to create a culture of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual understanding at Google for a diversity of beliefs, where Googlers of all beliefs feel welcome, included, and supported. Google’s Inter Belief Network also aims to ensure that the voices of belief-based communities are represented in Google’s products. IBN consists of multiple member chapters representing specific communities of interest, including but not limited to Buddhists, Christians, Jewglers [Google’s term], and Muslims.”
The study’s findings regarding interfaith work corresponded with AI&F’s founding assumption that technology companies are more likely to engage people of faith working across faith traditions. The study also cites other benefits from a religion-friendly stance including better diversity across the entire spectrum of social affiliations and categories.