Controversy Over "Men-Only" Agricultural Show Tradition

21/12/2018

An agricultural show has sparked controversy by voting to continue its tradition of staging a men-only awards night despite claims that it is sexist. 

FBC Manby Bowdler Employment Partner Julia Fitzsimmons says old practices should be kept under review and it’s never too late to start new traditions.

The sexism row sparked by the continuation of the Dartmouth Fatstock Show’s men-only awards dinner has once again thrown into question whether such events should be a thing of the past.

As an employer, if you host events or support corporate functions like this, it’s maybe time for you to review traditional practices within your organisation.

Many businesses will have certain traditions which have become embedded into their corporate practices but the Fatstock Show row serves as a graphic reminder that they should all be subjected to regular review.

So, if your company hosts a male-only or indeed a female-only corporate event, perhaps question whether this is still appropriate.

Furthermore, before accepting an invitation to an event outside your own organisation give  some serious consideration to the format and content of the event and make a call on whether it is in line with your own company’s culture.

Employers would also do well to recognise that it’s never too late to set new traditions, reinvent events and adopt fresh working practices which are open and inclusive to all. 

Perhaps the time has come for companies to formulate new polices on the type of events they host for employees and the kind of external functions which are appropriate for staff to attend.

Alongside this, employers should consider having policies on the behaviour that is expected of staff when attending public or private events.

Staff should be clear that any behaviour falling below expected standards at any event will not be tolerated and may be treated as a disciplinary offence.

For any more information, contact Julia on 01952 208420 or julia.fitzsimmons@fbcmb.co.uk.

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