‘Chat about football or cricket in the workplace should be curtailed, a management body has warned.
Ann Francke, head of the Chartered Management Institute, said sports chat can exclude women and lead to more laddish behaviour.
“A lot of women, in particular, feel left out,” she told the BBC’s Today programme.
“They don’t follow those sports and they don’t like either being forced to talk about them or not being included.”
“I have nothing against sports enthusiasts or cricket fans – that’s great,” she said.
“But the issue is many people aren’t cricket fans,” she added, arguing bosses should crack down on sports banter.
Ms Francke is concerned that discussing football and, for example, the merits of video assistant refereeing (VAR) can disproportionately exclude women and divide offices.
“It’s a gateway to more laddish behaviour and – if it just goes unchecked – it’s a signal of a more laddish culture,” she said
“It’s very easy for it to escalate from VAR talk and chat to slapping each other on the back and talking about their conquests at the weekend.”
Read more: Firms urged to crack down on office football chat as it excludes women