Creating an Inclusive Workplace During Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting. It begins the evening of March 10 and ends the evening of April 9 this year; however, the dates are dependent on the appearance of the crescent moon and vary across countries.

During Ramadan, Dining & Culinary Services offers special Halal certified meals that can be ordered for pick-up at all of our markets to accommodate anyone who is observing this holy month.

One thing we can do for those who observe is to be more aware and inclusive of our work through accommodations. From journalist and award winning author, Aya A. Khalil, here are some ways in which we can accommodate those who observe this holy month:

  • Learn about Ramadan. There are a lot of resources online.
  • Make connections. There are parallels between Ramadan and fasting during Lent that leads to Easter. Other religions also encourage fasting, such as Hinduism and Judaism.
  • Avoid scheduling afternoon meetings or simply ask what works best for our colleagues.
  • Avoid scheduling lunch meetings, coffee breaks, or office potlucks/gatherings in the daytime.
  • If someone bring treats to a break room or meeting, bring something where people can take the treats with them for later when they break their fast.
  • Consider any celebrations or events that include food after Iftar (breaking fast at sunset).

From a colleague:

Language is very important when speaking to your colleagues about culture, religious practices, traditions, etc. One of the questions Muslims are often asked about their fasting is “Not even water??” usually followed by a “I could never do that,” or “That’s too much,” or “Why?” with a shocked expression of disbelief (not always nicely). We are always happy to engage. We are proud of who we are as everyone should be. This is a very important, beloved time for Muslims and so I’d like to just add, moving forward, the tone of engagement should still keep that core value of “Respect.”

Upcoming Holidays & Observances

March 10th–April 9th: Ramadan, an Islamic holiday marked by fasting, praise, prayer, and devotion to Islam

April 22nd–30th: Passover, an eight-day Jewish holiday in commemoration of the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt

March 28th: Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Christian holiday commemorating the Last Supper, at which Jesus and the Apostles were together for the last time before the crucifixion. It is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter

March 29th: Good Friday, a day celebrated by Christians to commemorate the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. It is recognized on the Friday before Easter

March 31st: Easter, a holiday celebrated by Christians to recognize Jesus’ return from death after the crucifixion