Religion at work:
Encouraging multi-faith inclusion and setting up spaces for prayer

First broadcast on Tuesday 18th April 2023

Join us as we learn and share best practices for catering for religion at work from a DEI perspective.

In this online webinar session, we discuss the key considerations for creating an inclusive workplace for people of different faiths. We cover topics such as accommodation requests, scheduling of religious observances, food and drink options, dress codes, and religious expression in the workplace. We also examine the legal and ethical implications of catering for religion at work and explore strategies for addressing any potential conflicts that may arise.

At the end of this webinar, participants will have a deeper understanding of the importance of religious inclusion in the workplace, and be equipped with practical tools and tips to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all faiths.


11am EDT / 4pm BST 


Creating space for religious diversity at work

  – Humanising leadership in the workplace
  – Strategies for enabling people the freedom to bring their whole selves to work
  – Creating more supportive worksites
 – Techniques for fostering psychological safety at work

Professor Michael Smets, Professor of Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

11:35am EDT / 4:35pm BST 

Case Study: Experiences of Running a Muslim Network within the NHS

  – Progressing towards the overarching vision to make the NHS a fully open and inclusive organisation for Muslim colleagues without fear of discrimination, bullying or violence
  – Increasing awareness of the Islamic faith and creating a sense of community and belonging
  – Doubling the Network’s membership in a year and securing a passionate executive sponsor as an ally, advocate and executive voice
 – Launching a support package and guidance for members around talent development, leadership support, how to be a better Muslim, wellbeing and islamic support and celebrating key Islamic celebrations

Shohail Shaikh, Co-chair of the National NHS Muslim Network, NHS

11:50am EDT / 4:50pm BST 

Panel Discussion: Religion at work: Encouraging multi-faith inclusion and setting up spaces for prayer

More than 80 per cent of the world has a religious affiliation, and for many religious people their faith influences their actions and behaviours at work as well as their personal motivation. Yet many colleagues are reluctant to share their beliefs at work. In this panel, we consider what can be done to enable religion individuals to celebrate their values openly and to enable them to feel confident enough to bring their whole selves to work.

  – How can employees ensure that faith is taken into account when strategising diversity and inclusion initiatives? 
  – Considering practical examples of encouraging multi-faith inclusion in the workplace such as flexible working
  – Considering the practical side of making provisions for faiths at work
 – Advice for setting up spaces for prayer and contemplation, ensuring uniforms or clothing can adhere to religious beliefs, food and alcohol at both social events and in the office and corporate imagery


Elisabeth Galvin, Content Editor, Diversity Network


Gurchaten Sandhu, Director of Programmes, ILGA World 

Rev Mark Fowler, CEO, Tanenbaum Centre 

Our Speakers

Professor Michael Smets, Professor of Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Professor Michael Smets is Professor of Management at Said Business School at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Leading Professional Service Firms Programme. For almost 20 years, he has been studying, advising and developing some of the world’s leading professional service firms and their leaders.

He supports professionals and technical experts in accelerating their leadership transitions and navigating complex stakeholder landscapes. Woking as academic director or lead faculty on many of Said Business School’s customized executive education programmes for professional service firms, he has helped numerous professionals in accounting, law, consulting, engineering, insurance and finance develop their personal, client and business leadership skills.

In 2019, Thinkers50 recognised his contribution to the field of PSF leadership by including me on their global ‘Radar’ list of 30 management thinkers to watch. In 2016, he was ranked among the top ’40 under 40’ business school professors worldwide by Poets & Quants.

His current research focuses on how leaders can:
– use the Power of Doubt as a catalyst for better decision-making and personal resilience a
– effectively manage their time, energy and cognitive bandwidth to lead through turbulence
– navigate competing strategic priorities by developing a ‘both/and’ paradox mindset

His research has appeared in leading management journals and has been covered by Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, the Guardian and other international media outlets.

He holds the equivalent of a BA from Cologne University in Germany and a Master’s and Doctoral degree from the University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Arts. He serves as an editorial board member of the Journal of Professions and Organizations, an advisory board member of the German Business Law Magazine and a founding member of the German Fee Council.

Visit Professor Smets’ LinkedIn profile

Professor Mariarosaria Izzo, Professor, European University of Rome (Universita Europea Di Roma)

Professor Mariarosaria Izzo holds 15 years’ experience in Human Resources as a work and organisational psychologist, mainly in training, coaching, assessment, diversity and change management performance evaluation. 

Her professional activity as practitioner in multinational corporations & SMEs focusees particularly on personal development and organisational behaviour, such as effective relationships, people involvement and engagement, leadership, emotional intelligence, team management and diversity management.

Visit Professor Izza’s LinkedIn profile

Shohail Shaikh, Co-chair, National NHS Muslim Network, NHS

Shohail Shaikh is a passionate HR professional, specialising in talent management, organisation design, and organisational development.

Being in a Talent Leader position for over a decade, he fully believes in the power of compassionate, inclusive and collective leadership, and that there is no greater satisfaction than helping talent unlock their full potential and empower them to be the best they can be.

As Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network, he is driven by the importance of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

Visit Shohail’s LinkedIn profile

Gurchaten Sandhu, Director of Programmes, ILGA World 

Born to Panjabi Sikh working-class migrant parents in the UK, Gurchaten is a widely respected LGBTI changemaker and community leader, joining ILGA World to further strengthen and build on the organisation’s programmatic work and manage its growing Programmes team.

Before their time at ILGA World, Gurchaten was the Non-Discrimination Programme Officer at the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch, where they built their expertise and knowledge on promoting social justice through decent and inclusive work for all, in particular to enhance LGBTIQ+ rights at work and economic inclusion. They were also the President for UN-GLOBE, the group representing LGBTIQ+ personnnel in the United Nations system. 

Gurchaten serves as a steering committee member of International Family Equality Day NGO, a fellow of the Salzburg Global LGBT forum and a Sarbat LGBT Sikhs volunteer. Gurchaten was also a former trustee of We Create Space.

Gurchaten has been listed as the OUTStanding LGBT Role Model from 2018 to 2022. They are also an Honouree of the Out & Equal’s 2021 Global LGBTQ Corporate Advocate Outie Award, and the winner of the British LGBT Award for Exceptional Inclusion 2021 & Pink News Award for Community Role Model of the Year 2022. 

In addition to being Director of Programmes at ILGA World, Gurchaten Sandhu is supporting The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at the London School of Economics as an Advisory Board Member. 

Visit Gurchaten’s LinkedIn profile

Elisabeth Galvin, Content Editor, Diversity Network

Elisabeth Galvin is a content editor at Diversity Network, and committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and creating a better workplace for all. As a journalist and author, she has worked in the US, London, Australia and Hong Kong for a range of magazines and newspapers. She is now based in Australia and also writing her third biography for the publisher Pen & Sword.

Visit Elisabeth’s LinkedIn profile

Shohail Shaikh, Co-chair of the National NHS Muslim Network, NHS

Shohail Shaikh is a passionate HR professional, specialising in Talent Management, Organisation Design, and Organisational Development.

Being in a Talent Leader position for over a decade, he fully believes in the power of compassionate, inclusive and collective leadership, and that there is no greater satisfaction than helping talent unlock their full potential and empower them to be the best they can be.

As Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network, he is driven by the importance of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

Visit Shohail’s LinkedIn profile

Rev Mark Fowler, CEO, Tanenbaum Centre 

Rev. Mark Fowler guides Tanenbaum to the fulfillment of its mission to promote justice and build respect for religious difference by transforming individuals and institutions to reduce prejudice, hatred, and violence. As CEO, Rev. Fowler is responsible for all of Tanenbaum’s departments, the design and implementation of all Tanenbaum trainings, and the expansion of Tanenbaum programs nationally and internationally.

Rev. Fowler represents Tanenbaum on the United Nations Multifaith Advisory Council for the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development, the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the Inclusion Allies Coalition, and Interfaith United NYC.

As architect of Tanenbaum’s Corporate Membership Program, Rev. Fowler has conducted trainings at GSK, Merck, Turner Broadcasting, PwC, The Walt Disney Company, CVS Health, Aetna, Bloomberg, Sodexo, Google, Moody’s, Bank of America, Walmart, and Target, among others. He has also managed the design of Tanenbaum’s Religious Diversity Leadership Summit and the Religious Diversity Symposium, which have brought together senior leaders, DEI practitioners and advocates to strategize on creating religiously inclusive workplaces.

Rev. Fowler led the evaluation of Tanenbaum’s Education program and managed the process and creation of its second editions of the Religions in My Neighborhood and World Olympics curricula.

Rev. Fowler is a sought-after keynote speaker and facilitator in all of Tanenbaum’s core program areas, and has addressed organizations globally on issues of equality in race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Recently, Rev. Fowler delivered the keynote at the 2020 Diversity Best Practices EmERGe conference, was featured in a fireside chat with Robert Cook, CEO and President at FINRA’s 2020 Virtual Diversity Summit and continued in his role as Navigator at the 2020 unveiling of OUTNext’s latest curriculum “Out of the Closet and into the C-Suite.”

Over the course of Rev. Fowler’s tenure at Tanenbaum, he has presented at the National Council on the Social Studies, National Association of Multicultural Education, Teaching Tolerance, the YMCA of Greater New York, Partnership for Afterschool Education, Asia Society, National School Board Association, the United Nations, the Newseum, the Power of Women Institute, the Return on Inclusion Summit, the OutNEXT Summit, and the Forum on Workplace Inclusion regarding prejudice reduction, conflict resolution, bias and bullying.

Rev. Fowler earned a B.A. in English and Education at Duke University and was trained as a Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialist with the NYC Department of Education. Rev. Fowler also is a graduate of the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, is an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual minister, and is a Dean of second-year students at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary.

Women at Work Digital Focus Day

What you will gain:

Flexible access to content

Our online conference portal offers a personalised content experience. You can join in with the sessions at work and on the go, live and on demand, and join in the conversation in-session with fellow attendees. 

An opportunity to make new contacts

After the learning, join us to meet speakers and fellow attendees and make new contacts at our exclusive after-show digital meetup.

Access the session on demand

Please complete the form below and we will send you the instructions on how to access the recording via e-mail shortly:

Please tick the email check box below so that we can send you a welcome email, and email you the links to access the event portal and on-demand sessions in due course.

We respect your privacy. By clicking 'Continue', you agree for us to share your details with the direct sponsors of the specific online event(s) you wish to attend, who may promote similar products and services related to your area of interest, subject to their privacy policy. See the event website for confirmed sponsors. You have the right to object. You will also receive our periodic e-newsletter, including information on future related DEI learning opportunities. You can choose to unsubscribe at any time. For further information on how we process and monitor your personal data, and information about your privacy and opt-out rights, view our Privacy Policy here.

You can email us at to be removed from our list immediately.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking 'Continue', you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Large group of hr managers in formalwear standing in row
Smart working and video conference
Corporate Learning & Development Summit
Thank you very much for an excellent and thought provoking conference. Many thanks to the team for organising such a great event.