British Airways has an Interfaith Network group that brings together people of different faiths and beliefs in the workplace. It is open to people of faith or no faith who are interested in employee and business issues to support colleagues and the company as a whole.
A good example highlighting where our Interfaith Network has significantly helped can be seen through our flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). British Airways operates frequent flights from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to both Jeddah and Riyadh. Due to the cultural sensitivities of this new route, we need to brief our airport staff, cabin crew and flight crew on matters such as religious law, cultural differences, values and expectations, prohibited articles, behaviour, personal safety and security.
These briefings ensure we provide a culturally sensitive and responsive service in matters such as catering, entertainment and seating arrangements. In order to ensure the information is accurate our Sales & Marketing teams work closely with our Muslim Society, Diversity team, local overseas managers and HR colleagues, as well as local UK embassy contacts. Colleagues are then briefed through a variety of communication channels, such as emails, face-to-face briefing sessions and specific documentation.
From a colleague perspective this raising of cultural awareness provides some factual information and insights into the country. It also provides a platform to discuss any questions, assumptions or issues our colleagues may have, such as the wearing of the Abaya, religious symbols that can be taken into the country and gender segregation whilst in the country.
Due to its resounding success in Saudi Arabia, this scheme is being used as a template when adding new routes to our network.