Building Inclusion: empowering confidence through religious accommodations

During her 15 years at Intuit, Maaly Mohamed’s had a front row seat to changes in religious accommodations in the workplace. The global co-chair of the Intuit Muslim Awareness Network sat down with us to discuss Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and how the employee resource group is bringing visibility to religious inclusivity.

Religion is often perceived as an off-limits topic for workplace discussion. At Intuit, we want to create an environment where our employees can feel comfortable talking about the things that are important to them, including what they believe. Our aim is to be respectful of people’s choices and support their practices.

We have two faith-based employee resource groups (ERGs) that provide a community for their members while also offering valuable insight into the needs of our employees and how we can make religious diversity visible in the workplace. Maaly Mohamed is the global co-chair of one of those groups: the Intuit Muslim Awareness Network (IMAN). 

Around the world, an estimated 1.9 billion Muslims will soon be celebrating Eid al-Fitr. Known as the festival of breaking the fast, Eid al-Fitr begins after sundown on April 20, and marks the end of Ramadan. We sat down with Maaly to learn more about this global celebration and how religious accommodations have changed during her 15 years with Intuit. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Intuit. 

I work in finance as the Automation Center of Excellence leader. ‌I’m a Muslim, Egyptian-American living in San Diego, California with my family. 

My first job when I moved to San Diego was with Intuit. I’ve been here for 15 years and it’s been a journey of learning and getting to know awesome people at a company that cares deeply about the employee experience while offering the perfect opportunity to make a positive impact on the world.

As someone who experiences intersectionality in many ways, I’ve always been passionate about working for a company that values inclusivity and diversity, fosters career growth, and embraces work/life balance.

How have you seen religious accommodations change during your 15 years with Intuit?

I’ve seen firsthand how the company’s commitment to DEI has translated into meaningful changes in the workplace. One of the most notable changes has been the introduction of prayer rooms and quiet spaces across all sites, which has made it much easier for Muslim employees like myself to take breaks to pray during the workday with easy access. 

I’ve also noticed a significant increase in the amount of information and events pertaining to our ERG, making it easier to educate others about the faith and practices, especially during Ramadan. Special religious accommodation requests are also available online for employees to use as needed.

What kind of programming does IMAN have surrounding Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr?

Ramadan is our signature event to raise awareness and engage the company with a variety of events to celebrate this special month. We held a Fast & Learn about the health benefits of fasting and value of Ramadan to Muslims around the world. We also had a global day of fasting to encourage all employees to give it a try and build empathy across the board. 

Since Ramadan is a month of giving, we ran a donation campaign to raise funds to support different Muslim charities which was matched by Intuit and demonstrates our longest standing core value of We Care & Give Back. We’ll wrap up the month with an EID Toy drive and celebrations with food and activities across all sites to end the month with some fun!

How does the work you do with the Intuit Muslim Awareness Network support our commitment to being a workplace that encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? 

Our mission in the Intuit Muslim Awareness Network is to provide a space for Muslims and non-Muslims to have open conversations, engage in fun activities, fuel career growth, and make a difference in our workplace and communities. Most importantly, we want to ensure our employees feel safe to bring their whole selves to work. 

‌Faith is a huge part of who we are and having a safe space at work to express yourself when it comes to faith is crucial. ‌Intuit is special in that it has and continues to support faith-based employee resource groups for years now, something other workplaces are just starting to explore. I’m constantly striving to build on the values of inclusivity and diversity that drew me to Intuit in the first place. 

What inspired you to take on a leadership role with the Intuit Muslim Awareness Network? 

When I joined Intuit, I researched if we had an ERG for the Muslim community and saw we had a chapter in Mountain View, CA. I took the initiative to start a chapter in the San Diego office, then stepped into the global leader role. 

We now have representation in four Intuit locations (Mountain View, San Diego, Toronto, and the  UK) in addition to the remote community. ‌Site leaders in each location are striving to make a difference by educating others about Islam and building bridges across cultures, which is a great way to contribute to a more welcoming and inclusive environment in the workplace. The ideal state for the IMAN leadership team is to ensure Muslim employees are able to represent their faith, grow their career, and take advantage of developmental opportunities without fear, hesitation, or concern. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to be an ally to the Intuit Muslim Awareness Network?

My advice would be to approach your coworkers with an open mind and a willingness to learn. It’s important to listen to all experiences and strive to gain understanding and empathy for each other. 

Additionally, allies should be willing to speak up and take action when they see instances of discrimination or injustice, and to use their influence to advocate for the needs and rights of each other.

Finally, it’s important to be patient and to recognize that building understanding and inclusivity takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it.

Your unique life experiences and beliefs help increase innovative thinking, develop new ideas, and better understand customer problems. Not only does that hold true for your gender, ethnicity, age, or abilities, but it extends to your faith as well. 

We aim to foster positive experiences at every level of someone’s professional journey. If you are interested in joining our team, check out our open positions here.