6 Minute Read

Stop Hitting on Women Through LinkedIn, You Damn Fools

I was recently asked to cover this story around a survey around harassment on LinkedIn.

As a 44-year-old woman who has been in a male-dominated industry for a while now, I can attest to the fact that being hit on sexually or romantically on LinkedIn is not new. It has been happening for years, and despite the platform’s erm… efforts to address the issue, the numbers are still shockingly high.

We Haven’t Really Gotten Better Y’all

The statistics speak for themselves. According to recent research, 91% of female LinkedIn users have received inappropriate messages at least once, with 31% of these messages being propositions for romantic or sexual encounters. This behavior is not just unacceptable, but it can also be quite the career killer for women. Talk about a platform that’s being utilized in all the wrong ways!

One would think that with the rise of the #MeToo movement and other initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality, this issue would have been addressed by now. As a society, we must ask ourselves: why are the numbers still so high? Is it because men are not aware of the impact their actions have? Or is it because they simply do not care? 

Call ‘Em Out. No Second Chances

Ladies, let’s be fierce and fearless in exposing and unmasking those who dare to cross the line. No more silence, no more normalization. It’s high time we held individuals accountable for their questionable antics! 💪✨

Men, on the other hand, must stop making unwanted advances! These actions are inappropriate and sometimes even illegal. What may seem like playful flirting to one person can be seen as harassment or intimidation to another (and it’s super not your job or role to determine what that might be to anyone.) Respecting boundaries and treating others with professionalism and decency: the classiest way to navigate this social circus. 🎩✨

It IS About the Barbie Movie and well…just everything

It is also essential to understand why this behavior still persists. In a society that has normalized male entitlement and the objectification of women, it is no surprise that LinkedIn serves as a breeding ground for these types of advances. We must dismantle these norms by having conversations about consent, boundaries, and respect in our personal and professional lives. Sending unsolicited sexual messages not only devalues the platform but also contributes to a toxic work environment for women.

This behavior is affecting the lives and careers of women on LinkedIn. Nearly 74% of women have dialed down their activity on the platform due to others’ improper conduct. By indulging in this behavior, we’re practically creating a blacklist of missed career chances and connections. Time to switch up our tactics and unlock those hidden doors! 🚪💼 #OpportunitiesAwait #NetworkingGameChanger

Women should feel comfortable calling out this behavior and unmasking those who do it. Gentlemen, let’s get one thing straight: LinkedIn is not your personal Tinder. No need to swipe right for professional connections, ladies are here for career wins, not dates! 😉In fact, this unwanted behavior can actually repel women from LinkedIn, further widening the gap in work we’ve spent so long addressing.

This is the SOTU For Women on LinkedIn

  • About 91% of female LinkedIn users have received romantic advances or inappropriate messages at least once.
  • Most out-of-line messages that slide into women’s DMs are propositions for romantic or sexual encounters (31%).
  • When someone makes a move, female LinkedIn professionals (43%) usually confront and inform the sender they crossed the line.
  • Getting hit on LinkedIn typically makes women annoyed (14.75%), indifferent (13.42%), or confused (13.22%).
  • Around 43% of females using LinkedIn reported (on multiple occasions) users who tried to get all flirty.
  • Nearly 74% of women on LinkedIn have at least once dialed down their activity on the platform due to others’ improper conduct.

So how can we reduce this unwanted behavior? 

The first step is to increase awareness and education about appropriate behavior. According to the study, most women respond to these advances by confronting and informing the sender that they have crossed the line. That’s a great first step. 

LinkedIn itself should implement stricter guidelines and policies, and they should ban users who repeatedly send inappropriate messages. Sending a crystal-clear signal: LinkedIn – where professionals connect, not a dating app! Inappropriate antics? Zero tolerance.

We need to create a culture on LinkedIn where women feel respected and valued for their professional accomplishments, not their appearance or availability for romantic encounters. We have come too far to let the behavior of a few hold us back. Let’s work together to make sure that every woman can feel safe and thrive on LinkedIn.