"You wear pink frilly knickers!" is a standard accusation that I hear on a regular basis. And no, before you think that I've lost control and am walking the streets of London with little attire, this is merely (and innocently) part of the exchanges between my two young sons. It's their attempt at banter and my word, do they have a long way to go!In other words, they are taking the mick out of each other and this is normally the prequel to all-out war.
But where are the boundaries on banter and how hard should we push them?
I have a high filter for workplace banter (and home) and I'm not easily offended. But in my ambivalence, do I serve to further dilute the message of empowering diversity in the workplace? Banter, as a general rule, is supposed to be amusing, so by mounting the high horse, are we taking the fun out of proceedings?
The thought of redefining these boundaries in the workplace is a daunting prospect...yet not impossible. It starts with a code of conduct that everyone commits to and guess what? Not only can it work, it can also promote and create a better environment...in the office and at the bar on a Friday night. The results? A tech team with 23% female representation...I'll take that!
Whilst we have not had any poor behaviour in the past, we recognised the importance of having a clear code of conduct, one that ensures attendees of any gender or background are treated with respect. This allows us, as hosts, to outline the culture of our events, and handle situations in the event that a guest’s behaviour falls below the standards expected.