Back of the net

Avatar photo Colette Ballou - 7th Feb, 2020

The chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, Ann Francke, was quoted this week as saying that women felt “uncomfortable” in the presence of men at work talking about sport as this could lead to banter and “talking about their conquests at the weekend”.

We’re very much hoping that Ms Francke was wildly misquoted in the press as there are a number of questionable sentiments coming out of this.

What about women that are interested in sport?  Does this not apply to them?  If you’re interrupting a conference call to talk about transfer news then fair enough but that obviously applies to both genders.

Also how could talking about Trezeguet’s goal lead to talking about your conquests?  Unless you actually dated Trezequet in which case, fair play.

This is starting to sound like the spluttering reaction from some quarters to the #metoo movement, ie “but I daredn’t even shake a woman’s hand now without worrying!”  Well as has been pointed out many times before it’s not hand-shaking women don’t like, it’s bottom patting.  One’s appropriate, one isn’t.  Just like we don’t need a blanket ban on physical contact between men and women at work we also don’t need to stop people talking about their hobbies if others are interested.  If others are harrumphing, checking their watches or visibly nodding off then maybe re-think your conversational choices.  It’s that simple.

Ballou’s take on this?  We’re really not sure this is something genuine to worry about, but if you replace the word “uncomfortable” with “bored” then Ms Francke, we’re right with you.


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