Posted on 29th January 2020 - INDUSTRY NEWS

football pitch

Business leaders should show greater awareness and sensitivity towards female staff when sports banter takes place on the "shopfloor". Ann Francke on BBC Radio 4 TODAY warned business leaders and managers that football banter in particular could act as a "gateway" to other laddish behaviour; with Francke warning that "if it goes unchecked this can signal a more "laddish culture in the organisation".

Ann Francke OBE CEO of the Chartered Management Institute said:

"It is easy to go from talk of a weekend VAR decision on the football pitch, to slapping people on the back and talking about 'conquests at the weekend'.

I am not calling for a ban on sports banter at work, but good business leaders have a responsibility to make all staff comfortable in the office or shop floor.

Endless sports banter about rugby, cricket and football before every board or executive committee meeting is indeed very off putting for most women, and for some men. When employees feel excluded from these conversations it can lead to them feeling unable to engage fully at work - which in turn impacts their productivity and chances for promotion. With what is ahead of us all, maybe it's time business leaders focused their minds on the actual issues at work, and not what the VAR decision on Saturday at full-time was."

As published on


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