Culture at Braze
How We Support the Muslim Community With Our Newest ERG
First launched in February 2022, [email protected] is the newest Braze employee resource group (ERG). The group works to unite Braze employees from around the globe by sharing, celebrating, and educating about Islamic culture, while also dispelling misconceptions that impact the Muslim community.
When we asked our members what being a part of this ERG meant to them, three big themes emerged: Community, generosity, and inclusion. When our ERG leads came together, one of the first things we realized was that none of us had been part of a company where a Muslim ERG exists, where resources like this are available, and where we were empowered to make such a real difference in the lives of our colleagues and our wider communities.
As a minority group, it is incredibly important to support and share the experiences of our colleagues that identify as Muslim in a safe space without fear of judgement. That’s why we’ve made a point of celebrating the diverse culture and practices of Islam from around the world through holidays and traditions.
With the start of Ramadan on April 2, the [email protected] ERG is excited to share some insights on how to support your colleagues, coworkers, and customers during this month.
First and Foremost, What Is Ramadan?
It’s a month of fasting between daylight hours (dawn until sunset) that is practiced by many of those from the Islamic faith. Ramadan is often a time for reflection, being more consciously mindful, and focusing on acts of generosity to benefit the wider community.
This year, Ramadan falls between April 2 and May 1. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the dates and timings change over time, moving approximately 10 days earlier every year. With many Muslims waking up in the early hours to eat (sometimes as early as 2:00 am), and breaking fasts as late as 8:00 pm, the typical working day for those practicing is likely to vary.
Every healthy Muslim is able to participate; however, fasting is not something that should ever be forced on anyone, and many Muslims may not fast for a number of reasons (such as health conditions, pregnancy, or traveling). Many choose to participate in other ways, such as reflection, supporting others in need, and being generous through charity.
Be a Human: How to Support Your Muslim Community Throughout Ramadan
One of our core values here at Braze is to be a human, and with approximately 1.8 billion Muslims taking part in Ramadan this year, there’s a high chance you will interact with someone who is participating. Here are some tips on how to best support customers and colleagues who may be fasting.
For Our Muslim Community:
Be open and honest with your manager about expectations and if any flexibility is needed in terms of working hours, etc.
Get ahead and organize your work day, ensuring your teams’ needs are also taken into account.
Ensure you give yourself breaks during the day where needed.
For People Managers and Coworkers:
We love it when you wish us a Happy Ramadan, Ramadan Mubarak, or Ramadan Kareem. This can be said at any point throughout the month.
For managers: If you know that one of your reports will be participating in Ramadan, reach out—some people may feel awkward or shy about asking for accommodations.
Fasting affects people in different ways: Some may be quieter than usual, slightly tired at times, or less energetic.
Our sleeping hours and/or caffeine intake changes, so we might seem tired. Special treatment isn’t expected, but it would be kind to check preference for meeting hours, such as mornings where your colleagues may have more energy.
We don’t mind when you eat around us, so there's no need to apologize for eating or drinking. Promise!
Many Muslims will take time off during the last week of Ramadan (this year, the week of April 25) to mark and celebrate the end of Ramadan holiday, known as Eid (this year, likely on May 2).
For Your Customers:
For those working with customers in Muslim majority countries, be mindful of changed working hours and days (like Friday off). This will vary per country—for instance, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a working day is six hours. This may also vary between the public and private sector.
- If you’re planning to visit customers in Muslim majority countries, take the following into consideration:
Increased traffic begins the week before the end of Ramadan, and often lasts up to three days after in connection with the Eid celebration.
Traffic is likely to be incredibly severe before Iftar (the break of fast).
There is likely to be more congestion on flights to the Middle East and Gulf area in the second half of Ramadan, as many Muslims may wish to travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage.
Our aim here at [email protected] is to build a community and to support one another through shared and diverse experiences. We’re here to learn from each other and empower one another to be their most authentic selves. As a newly formed ERG, we’re learning as we grow, and although it may still be early days we’re incredibly excited to see where we can make an impact, whether that is internally or externally.
From the [email protected] ERG, to you and your family, we wish you a blessed month. Ramadan Kareem!
With ERGs including [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and many more, there are so many places to be seen, heard, and experience new cultures and perspectives. Are you interested in joining the growing team at Braze? We’re hiring! Head over to our careers page to explore open roles.
Uzma Rafiq is a Field Marketing Manager, North at Braze and one of the Cofounders of [email protected]