Christians in Royal Bank of Scotland Step Out in Faith
The Royal Bank of Scotland Christian workplace group recently took part in its first multi-faith event with a panel of industry leaders, discussing faith in the workplace and how it links to the RBS values. The world views being presented to us were: Atheism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism.
After each speaker had introduced him/herself, it was time for questions from the audience. Questions were asked such as: ‘is it acceptable to discuss matters of faith, in the workplace?’ Answers included:
“It’s important to understand people’s faith as well as where they come from. It helps with perspective. It’s easier to talk about what people think / believe if we are open to it. You should get to know your team and adapt and help each other.”
“It’s about understanding differences. We need to share our beliefs and have conversations as it gets people thinking about their view”
“It’s not just faith. It’s upbringing, culture and experiences”
Tackling these points from a Christian perspective was Jeremy Anderson CBE, chairman of KPMG’s global Financial Services practice.
If we were hesitant about getting bogged down in philosophical debate after a long day at work, we needn’t have worried. One of the Christians in RBS senior sponsors, Mark Elliott volunteered to chair the panel discussion and did much to lighten the mood and revive the audience.
What followed was a thought-provoking look at the factors shaping our own morals and the RBS values.
Each panellist gave a quick summary at the end of the night in response to the question, ‘Where do we go from here?’ Responses were as follows
Atheist rep - Look for common humanity in people
Muslim rep – Acknowledging faith, diversity and inclusion is important
Christian rep – Make sure people are safe and comfortable to bring themselves to work
Hindu rep – Bring yourself to work – be open, honest and transparent
Jewish rep – create an environment where people can be comfortable – respect others – ensure dignity of difference.
Trudi Davis – Chair of Christians in RBS said: ‘It was a great night with very interesting speakers. This was the first interfaith event we have put on and it took quite a lot of organising, but it was worth it in the end. Everyone I spoke to afterwards said they really enjoyed the event. It’s been good to work with the other groups and understand more about their beliefs. It also just goes to show that despite having different beliefs we can all still work together in harmony.’
In a multitude of conflicting world views, we are faced with the challenge as to whether Christians have a part to play in shaping the values of an organisation? If we do have a part to play, then Christian workplace groups should continue to get involved in these forums.