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Own goal – there’s no place for workplace stereotypes

Sinclair Robbie
Robbie Sinclair



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14 April 2022

Women are more emotional than men. And this is the reason why woman footballers concede one goal after another. 

This is the stereotype being offered by Northern Ireland’s manager, Kenny Shiels, after our 5-0 defeat to England. Even though Shiels has since apologised, this was not an off-the-cuff remark as he gave a lengthy explanation as to why he reached this conclusion.

Ever since women have worked, they have faced stereotypes that negatively package emotion as a deficit/overload of hormones. Less is said about emotional intelligence. And incidentally men can be emotional too, although it is usually given as a compliment. Stereotypes aren’t helpful because they do not treat an individual as an individual. Not everyone is the same.

This is not just an issue for women. People of colour, those with a disability, the old and young, and the LGBTQ community constantly face these challenges. It is time to bring some rigour to workplace practices to ensure that decision-making and analysis are not based on assumptions.  

Losing to England is never a good thing – and it was made worse by this comment! 

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