Social media is tricky when you’re a woman. Somehow, it became normal or expected for women on platforms like Twitter and Instagram to bat an eye when on the receiving end of sexual harassment, but LinkedIn is supposed to be different. LinkedIn is where you go to connect with other professionals and humblebrag so that hiring managers will notice you. However, one British barrister received a message that was mild in its language but still inappropriate when you take into account that this is a site for professionals.
Charlotte Proudman, whose Twitter profile notes that she’s a PhD candidate at Cambridge University, is speaking out after 57-year-old Alexander Carter-Silk, a partner at Brown Rudnick, complimented her for a “stunning picture” and apologized for not being “politically correct.”
On the surface, it doesn’t seem that bad. He didn’t ask for her nudes nor did he use explicit language. However, this isn’t OK Cupid and that message has nothing to do with what her inbox was intended for. The 27-year-old barrister notes that this isn’t an irregular occurrence and points out the sexism that comes with men in positions of power who overstep their boundaries. "I just thought another sexist message and I've received many of them from professionals through LinkedIn who seem to treat it like Tinder," she told BBC 5 Live on Thursday. "I saw that he was a senior legal professional and someone from a very reputable legal firm and I decided I was going to respond to that message."
According to Mashable, Carter-Silk took to legal news website RollOnFriday to apologize for the inappropriate message. “Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn, my comment was aimed at the professional quality of the presentation on LinkedIn, which was unfortunately misinterpreted," he said. “Ms. Proudman is clearly highly respected and I was pleased to receive her request to link up, and very happy to instruct her on matters which [are] relevant to her expertise that remains the position.”