Setting: Having lunch outside of work, casual place, all 6 guys in our team, the 2 ladies skipped it.
We've had a new starter (I know) who's been working at home since he started and he asked "which building do we work in?" There's a few and we ended up talking about which building we preferred and after a few comments I said, "I'd prefer to work in building X because of the location and talent".
Now the talent obviously refers to all the marketing and advertising women in that building. In Australia, to say "he/she is talented" is a colloquial saying rather than "he/she is hot".
My manager brought it up in our 1 on 1 perf review and said: "about that comment liking another building, be careful about what you say and that's borderline unacceptable.", my reply "what do you mean?", response "the comment about the talent in another building, don't let it happen again."
Is it bad conduct to admit you like a few women in another building and you'd prefer to work there? Or could this be construed as inappropriate workplace behaviour?
This is gender neutral and I'd expect an answer to address if a women said the same thing with equal outcomes.
My take is that it isn't racist, sexist or anything other than fact that I think there's attractive people.