Companies need to moderate office chat to stop men talking about sports because such conservations exclude women and are a “gateway” to “laddish behaviour”, the head of a professional institution said on the BBC.
Chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute Ann Francke told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday that bosses should curtail conversations about sports in the office, a staple of British workplace conversation.
“I have nothing against sports enthusiasts or cricket fans — that’s great. But the issue is many people aren’t cricket fans,” Ms Francke said, adding that it was the responsibility of team leaders to stop this “kind of banter” in order to be more inclusive.
She continued: “A lot of women, in particular, feel left out. They don’t follow those sports and they don’t like either being forced to talk about them or not being included in the conversation.”
Claiming that talking about sports was a “gateway” to more offensive behaviour, the CMI chief said: “It’s a gateway to more laddish behaviour and — if it just goes unchecked — it’s a signal of a more laddish culture.
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