Supporting staff and colleagues during Ramadan

From this week, alongside billions of people across the globe I have begun observing the month of Ramadan, a month of fasting (not eating or drinking amongst other things) from sunrise to sunset and it’s likely that some of your employers, employees or colleagues will also be observing the holy month too.

In short, Ramadan is a time for deep reflection, self-discipline, giving in charity, parting ways from luxuries and devotion to our faith.

As a Muslim woman, my faith drives me to be the best and most beneficial person I can be to those around me, this has driven me to the world of social mobility and equality, diversity and inclusion. It is important to note that I also found myself gravitating towards this space as I felt unsupported and even sometimes gawked at in other lines of work for being Muslim — which what makes the work of organisations like The Brokerage so important.

Inclusion has indeed become somewhat of a buzzword, however, as my manager has shown me taking the time to simply ask how I would like to be supported during this month is all that I needed. This is a departure from feeling like a tick box to instead feeling that I belong, I am valued and I am supported and ultimately motivates me to fulfill my duties as an employee to the highest standard.

I cannot speak for every Muslim, but something I know that everyone values whether you are muslim or not is flexibility and respect. For me, this means being able to take 5–10 minutes out of my working day to pray and having a space to do this without feeling I am being judged, starting my day a little earlier or later and being able to get home by sunset to break my fast with my family.

As a charity, The Brokerage works with talented young people from a diverse array of backgrounds, including many Muslims, who like me will also be observing this month. As we support them into professional careers across the corporate world, my hope is that our corporate partners and other employers will strive to take a similar approach, and ensure they are also given the flexibility and respect to allow them to practice their faith.

So how can you best support your team during this time? We have compiled some useful resources that may be helpful to you:

The best way, however, and where possible, is to simply just ask.

  • The team at The Brokerage have put together a very well thought out programme. They have even asked students to trial their content and have taken our thoughts into their consideration. All the modules will be really helpful to me because they target exactly what I am not sure about such as how to write a good CV and cover letter, and how to use LinkedIn most effectively. I think this has been a very beneficial opportunity to me; I can’t wait to start the programme!

    YP Elika