The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Is #LinkedIn turning into Facebook or an online dating site? Or are people just #confused?

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This is a rant. And I am not shy to say so!

More and more recently, pictures of scantily clad women with cleavages or legs blatantly on display, are turning up in my LinkedIn feed.

Now, I am not a prude. And I know that boys will be boys. And I worked in the automotive industry long enough to understand that the boundaries between what is appropriate, what is seen as “soft” marketing (Think bikinis on car bonnets as seen in mechanics’ calendars) and what is totally not for public viewing, has become very blurred.

But I am not only connected to men. I have a large proportion of professional female connections on LinkedIn who share my sentiments about this subject.

I have over 2,000 contacts on LinkedIn, and most of those are professional business people who are concerned about their personal and public image. They select carefully, just like I do, whose Friends Requests are accepted and which are declined. They think about what they post onto their profiles, the content of their messages and the image they create through every single action, be that a click or a like, a view or an acceptance.

So why then, do I keep seeing “sexy” pictures of women on my feed?

It appears that perhaps these women are posting inappropriate selfies onto their LinkedIn profiles. Which is then Liked, Shared and slobbered over by every man who engages with that image.

What does it say about the woman who posts suggestive images of herself on a business networking site? I am not sure, but I can hand on heart say that I am too proud of who I am and what I have achieved as a business woman, to want any involvement with that.

What does it say about the men who like, share and comment on those pictures? I am not sure, but I don’t think I would want to do business with them. They may well expect the same from me! And as I said, I don’t do business like that.

So I am going to start removing people who engage in this sort of activity from my LinkedIn connections list.

This is not Facebook, and its not an online dating site! It’s LinkedIn, and it’s for real business. I really don’t want to see pictures like this in my professional feed on LinkedIn. I will remove contacts from my connections list who like, post or contaminate my feed with posts like this. It is misogenistic, destructive to the image of professional women and not conducive to business networking in any shape of form. It is wholly inappropriate behavior.

If you were a woman, would you walk into a crowded bar and flash your knockers or whip off your top? If you were a man, what would you think of a woman who displays that kind of behavior?

When I coach on social media, I always suggest that LinkedIn is like a crowded virtual bar. Those who share, produce valuable content and engage will be noticed, liked and be successful. Those who do things that are not appropriate, will most likely just be ignored.

This leads me to think that, over the years, perhaps some unsavoury people have crept into my contacts list. So it may be time for a clear out.

And it may be time for LinkedIn to think about setting some benchmarks for what is acceptable, and for what is not.LinkedIn

Rant over. Thanks for reading.

Written by Cathy Richardson

June 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Recruitment

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