Some days ago, I scrolled through my Instagram and found a very interesting story of a woman I know sharing screenshots of private messages on Linkedin. The conversation took part with a random guy and wasn't sounding very business-like as it should be on a work platform like LinkedIn. Moreover, this male counterpart, who was sending her messages, was actually hitting on her. And now the bummer. That was not the first time in her case, and while coming across other women's stories, I've realized that I even experienced similar situations myself.
LinkedIn, business platform or Tinder 2.0 for professionals?
When I saw the stories of my acquaintance, I thought about the times where I felt uncomfortable about messages in a work-related environment. And yeah, there have been several situations throughout my professional life (digital and in real-life). Once for instance, when I applied for a job via email, and the superior started sending me these weird short messages on Linkedin, telling me he could help me with another job cause I would be way too qualified for the position I initially applied for. Quite quickly I realized that I'd prefer email contact though the HR team over private messages on LinkedIn.
Seriously, LinkedIn is a business platform. It's about finding jobs, making professional connections, sharing professional achievements and so on. The dangerous part begins when rather desperate people think that they can start to use it for something else, and make someone who wants to be taken seriously based on their work feel very uncomfortable.
Women Who Prefer REAL Dating Platforms Rather Than Linkedin
Apparently LinkedIn is the new Tinder. Who knew? Now, why is this guy trying to use LinkedIn as a dating app? The world may never know.
So, this woman I was talking about earlier who shared her personal experience with this topic on Instagram, her name is Karoline Döhring, and she has some strong opinions about these incidents:
“In my profession, I work on complex IT infrastructures and negotiate at the highest level with managing directors of large companies. That's exactly what my business profiles on LinkedIn and XING say. Obviously, this expertise is not enough to take me seriously as an equal business partner. I receive daily emails like these via business platforms - and that since I use these portals. Obviously many men consider a flirt attempt over Linkedin and XING appropriate. There is a lot of talk about equal rights these days, but the sad truth is that a large proportion of men still don't recognize us women as equal in the business environment. As a woman, it must be the most normal thing in the world to have a boss who supports you in these matters. Many thanks to the company I work for, for always standing behind me and fighting sexism with me.”
Luckily, Karoline works at a company that supports her fight against sexism, yet when you're being confronted with unprofessional sexual advances, the discourse needs to be directed to the people who engage in this kind of behaviour. Here a selection of messages Karoline received:
To everyone who thinks it might be a good idea to look for a new love partner on a platform like LinkedIn or the German version Xing: don't do it. It is harassing when you want to keep a connection and conversation on a professional level, and then suddenly a rather unprofessional message appears, making you feel pretty uncomfortable. Go to Tinder, Bumble or a wedding to catch a date. Not a business platform. Thanks.
Text by Bernak Kharabi
Preview Image by Jae Park