Women at CodeClan

When does workplace banter become bullying?

Sharon Moore previews a new BCS Women in Scotland event examining the fine line between banter and bad behaviour.

Equal is the norm, no? Well, the fact that so many people felt the need to march on Saturday as a result of Trump’s inauguration would suggest that perhaps we’re not quite as equal as we’d hoped or thought.

Having said that, I was delighted to see so many men marching on behalf of the women that they are married to, friends with, colleagues of, and so on. I do know that that is often the norm.

But every now and again there are those awkward conversations.

Today I spoke with a mentee who told me that in a meeting recently the two male customers in her meeting refused to speak with her and only spoke to her male colleagues. If she asked them a question they gave the answer to her colleagues, not to her.

And that’s not an easy situation to deal with. Who says what? Should she make a comment? Should her male colleagues say something? What if they do? What if they don’t and then their little sisters or daughters encounter the same behaviour?

Then there are the jokes that just don’t sit comfortably…

When I asked InclusIQ Institute founder, Suzanne Doyle-Morris, for a description for the event we have planned on 7th February, I was rather chuffed with the way she wrote about it:

“Can’t you tell I was just joking??” postured John. ‘Lighten up!’

If this sounds familiar, you’ll know calling out ‘jokes’ or inappropriate behaviour at work is one of the hardest things to do.

Suzanne goes on to say:

All workplaces need to be fun – but not at the expense of someone else.

The idea behind this event is to help everyone think more about such situations, about when banter might cross the line, and think through when it might be right to respond with humour, candid feedback and delegation. And how time and place can make all the difference.

We’re going to be doing it in a fun way, using gaming techniques to role play and then discuss after how it went.

We’d be delighted to see you, just sign up using the link below:

7th February 2017, 5.30pm for 6pm start, finishing by 8pm
CodeClan, 37 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EL
£8+VAT (Refreshments will be provided)
Bring a laptop

Sign up on the BCS website.

Sharon Moore is technical leader for the travel and transportation industry at IBM UK.