MILWAUKEE, January 18, 2022 /3BL Media/ - World Religion Day, celebrated annually on the third Sunday in January, is a reminder of the need for harmony and understanding between religions and faith systems. Promoting that harmony and understanding at Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) is the core purpose of the company’s Faith Friendly & Allies (FFA) employee resource group (ERG).
Founded in 2014 after first starting as an affinity group in 2010, the ERG has grown to nearly 200 members and represents employees from all major faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
Rockwell’s Gopi Reddy is FFA’s vice president and has been a member of the ERG since its inception.
“The goal wasn’t to promote one faith over any others, but to encourage learning and understanding about all cultures and faiths,” Reddy says.
Religion hasn’t always been considered a work-friendly topic, but that’s changing. Because, for some employees, bringing their whole selves to work includes their spirituality and faith. In that way, the FFA contributes to a respectful, inclusive environment for Rockwell’s diverse global population.
“This ERG has been essential for me because I am a Muslim, and we pray five times a day. At least one prayer per day happens during work hours, and it’s something I used to hide from my coworkers,” says Ayman Alamy, former FFA president.
Now, feeling more comfortable and confident being open about his faith at work, he prays openly in his office. Further, because of Alamy and FFA’s advocacy, people of all faiths also have access to a multi-faith prayer room at Rockwell’s Milwaukee headquarters building.
“We’re providing a positive example for other companies,” he says. “We are among very few companies to have the courage and the guts to talk about religion and faith in a nuanced and fair way.”
“Rockwell is willing to address the difficult subjects,” adds Linda Kasulke, also a former FFA president. “Most companies won’t touch the topic of religion because it can be controversial, but we’ve done it and we’ve done it successfully. Not every company is willing to go out on a limb and encourage employees to find out about different faiths. Being open to that promotes harmony and camaraderie.”