LinkedIn has built its reputation on being the world’s largest professional network. It has secured thousands of jobs in multiple industries, and provided adults who deem themselves too important to use Facebook with a suitable and professional equivalent.
In recent weeks, however, LinkedIn has played host to an explosive sexism row that rapidly made national headlines.
The successful business tool came into question after a 27-year-old barrister sent an invitation to a senior partner at a law firm, only to receive a message that commented on her appearance.
Charlotte Proudman posted a print-screened image to her Twitter page (so 21st century), demonstrating Alexander Carter-Silk’s reply.
The Brown Rudnick employee, 57, called Charlotte “stunning”, and claimed she had “definitely won the prize for the best Linked in picture” he had ever seen.
Charlotte said she felt “objectified” by his comments, and stressed that she wasn’t on LinkedIn to be approached regarding her physical appearance, rather to connect with other business professionals.
We appreciate that Alexander’s comments were pointless, inappropriate and downright stupid, and we felt Charlotte’s reply was a more than fair response, but it’s questionable whether it was necessary for Charlotte to publically embarrass him.
It’s a difficult subject that proves impossible to touch upon without offending someone. Matthew Scott, a barrister and blogger told the BBC: “It was a rather foolish thing to do…. but I don’t think his ‘crime’ justifies the reaction it seems to have provoked from Charlotte.”
Is public-shaming really the only way to achieve gender equality?