{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does having dinner with colleague with the opposite gender = having a date in the workplace? I was reading some news about Bill Gates and found it is being implied this way.\n\nI am not interested in Bill Gate’s story - this is a general question about what is appropriate in workplace. It’s common to have working lunch with colleagues (sometime two people with opposite genders in a small team) in consulting (especially pre-COVID), but it looks like “dinner” has quite a different meaning?", "post_id": "60a25f9aab41dc00294d700c", "reply_count": 14, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Does having dinner with colleague with the opposite gender = having a date in the workplace? I was reading some news about Bill Gates and found it is being implied this way.

I am not interested in Bill Gate’s story - this is a general question about what is appropriate in workplace. It’s common to have working lunch with colleagues (sometime two people with opposite genders in a small team) in consulting (especially pre-COVID), but it looks like “dinner” has quite a different meaning?

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Posting as :
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The context is key

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Context is very important. If you’re working closely with someone and grab dinner with them after a long day (or while still working in reality here), it can much more easily be seen as “just a dinner” by both parties.

If you have only met someone via a presentation they just gave and you immediately ask them to a one on one dinner without any other relationship with them…people are going to see that as weird/a date.

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A key detail missing here is the power dynamic... Bill was the CEO and founder. He also married an employee.

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Dinner has a different connotation when you are on the road = not date. When in home city one on one dinner more likely to be viewed as date.

smarthelpful

In all honesty if you do dinner with a colleague of the opposite sex no matter what the context everyone turns into a gossip hound rather quickly

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The risks have become too great for a male in a higher position to try to mentor or help a junior female to advance

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The risks are nonexistent, so long as you don't attempt to date or otherwise sleep with your mentees.

This is the NYT news

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Honestly, I'd have to see the email because it's pretty common for oddball intellectuals to want to have conversations with people who are able to make them rethink.

likesmart

Hope not, or I’ve dated many of my co-workers that I didn’t intend to 😬

I can see how it’d be tricky to interpret though and it’s probably all in how you frame it and your true intent (which the other party won’t always know). Getting drinks/coffee/lunch/dinner to catch up or build new relationships/network or generally get to know someone doesn’t need to indicate romantic interest. But if your goal is revealed to use the co-worker status to advance a romantic interest without revealing your intent beforehand, then that could present a problem. I wouldn’t say no, personally. You can take steps to keep it on the up and up if that’s what you want. In her case she chose to completely avoid the potential ambiguity of the situation, but that also doesn’t mean impropriety was there.

Check with your local hr training. Sexual hatassment should come up every year or so.

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