Lesson in manners for male leaders is real sticking point

Having read ‘The brotherhood responds’ in your ‘Rant’ slot (Personnel Today, 25 July), I was curious to see the article that provoked it – Angela O’Connor’s opinion piece, ‘Leading from behind’ (Personnel Today, 18 July).

I enjoyed O’Connor’s points one to nine, and will probably use them myself at some stage. However, point 10 was an unnecessarily offensive and inaccurate reflection on the inherent differences between men and women. If this was directed at one person in particular, then I think she has been unwise in tarring a whole swathe of mankind with the same brush.

For the advancement of women in the workplace, equality in all things has constantly been stressed. I cannot believe she imagines that women don’t swear. And to suggest that men talk about their families more than women do is equally mind-boggling.

In respect of sport, football must be the single biggest and most publicised pursuit in the world. As it happens, I am a woman who plays and loves footie, but you don’t have to like it to grasp the analogies with work that trainers often need to use to illustrate a concept. I would rather that than hark back to wartime leadership qualities.

And as for the Boys Club, of course it exists. I joined it ages ago and discovered that, provided you don’t come in carrying loads of feminist baggage, you can be made most welcome.

Patsy Kleinworth

HR director,

TNS Support Services

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