Looking To The Heavens: Can Faith Help Professional Women Survive The Corporate Jungle?
Artist, actress and ordained minister Wanakee Pugh, says, too, it is not necessary to be obvious about your faith in the workplace. “It is not as necessary to bring faith into the workplace as it is to bring what faith produces into the work place—which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” she says. “These characteristics are good in the corporate world, and the world at large. They are not traits that people in the workplace will necessarily reward, but exhibiting this kind of fruit is the way to elicit God’s blessings wherever we go. It is His promotion we are looking for, and not that of our immediate supervisor. God gives us favor that transcends the corporate ladder.”
G’orge-Walker agrees. “I believe bringing your faith into the workplace is a personal matter. I, for one, never told anyone what I believed unless someone asked. I also let my actions speak for me. Whether someone knew I ‘religious’ or not didn’t matter,” she explains. “There are many who can and do give Christianity a bad name in and out of Corporate America. During the years I spent in corporate America, in various positions at several record labels, I didn’t flaunt my love for Jesus. I never had to. Because of the way I conducted myself told others not to cuss, disrespect, ask me to lie, etc.; and they did not.”
According to Knox an organic combining for your faith and career will happen without you having to showcase your religion. “Work is a huge part of life–we spend so many of our waking hours there. Faith is a huge part of life, for many of us, it’s one of the deepest parts of us. Trying to separate the two leads to a disconnect between where we spend the majority of our time and one of the most critical parts of our identity.”
Knox, who has created an organization for professional Christian women also called Faith Powered Profession, in partnership with 4wordwomen, tells us, “From my perspective as a Christian, work is part of my service to God. My faith influences how I work, how I treat my coworkers, it helps me make better decisions. I’d be a different worker if I didn’t bring my faith with me each day– a poorer worker. So I think everyone should bring the best of themselves into work. Their whole selves, and for many people, that includes a personal faith.”
But Knox adds to tread carefully when addressing faith in your workplace. “Walking into our workplace wearing a bumper sticker with our faith on it (or any other ‘touchy issue’ for that matter) will probably be met with mixed reactions. But a critical part of all effective workplace environments is mutual respect,” Knox explains to MadameNoire. “When we respect our colleagues as individuals, and they respect us, we can appreciate the differences in our professional skills, personal pursuits, political beliefs, and faith practices without feeling imposed on or imposing on others. We are at work to do our jobs–not to promote a particular religious view. It doesn’t mean our actions aren’t influenced deeply by our faith, it doesn’t mean we can’t ever talk about our faith when it’s relevant and respectful, but we’re not at work to promote a particular world view – religious, political, or otherwise.”
How do you incorporate your faith in your work?