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World Cup, Inclusion, Liverpool Street, Flexible working


Ah a football tournament again.


They always bring to life some very intriguing organisational dynamics.

Let’s accept that the majority in most businesses will be interested in the World Cup. And yet….our work to create inclusive companies is at least partially focused upon what it is like to be in the minority group is it not? 

So what do we see? In fact what have I seen?

The manager who doesn’t believe in flexible working but who miraculously finds it possible to allow people to work flexibly if 11 men in a certain strip are running around on a pitch somewhere in the world. 

The England fans who are given time to go and watch a match but the French or Brazilian colleagues who aren’t given the same leeway to watch their team.

The parent or carer who is made to feel guilty for sometimes leaving punctually or early – and then sits and watches in amazement as people are allowed to leave early to watch ‘the match’.

The “leader” who, when supposedly listening to project updates from more junior team members (for whom it was a critical moment), sat and watched ‘the match’ on his laptop – only looking up to say “we’ve scored”. Not seeming to listen to a word anyone said. 

The team member who complains that it is unfair to give people who don’t want to watch football the same time off as a football fan receives to go and watch football. And then justifies the argument with “well everyone has the equal right to watch the football if they want”. 

We now work harder than ever to create those conditions of inclusion. Does it all fall apart simply because there’s a sporting event on somewhere?

What are you doing to ensure fair treatment for the minority?