New data on Women on LinkedIn

by Sep 13, 2017

What the new data on Women on LinkedIn really means

Data on women on LinkedIn has always been hard to get and analyse, but some new information sheds light on how women use the platform differently to their male colleagues and what those differences mean. 

It has always been difficult to identify women on LinkedIn because it’s not possible to do a search based on gender. Any efforts to track women on LinkedIn specifically, involve complex Boolean strings involving pronouns or searching via women’s clubs, universities and networks. So any analysis has always been more anecdotal around perceptions and personal experience, rather than data based. However a report has just been issued using LinkedIn member profile data for members in the United States over the past 12 months. Published on the LinkedIn blog by Rachel Bowley, it supports pretty much what we already know about women on LinkedIn.

Download: Daily LinkedIn routine for today’s super busy women

Women on LinkedIn tend to promote themselves less then men.

  • Their profiles contain less information and their summaries are shorter. This means that they are not going to appear in searches carried out by recruiters as frequently and not near the top of the page. A LinkedIn summary can be up to 2600 characters. Women should use it.
  • Men up-sell their professional brands, show casing achievements more than the women on LinkedIn do. This means that women will get over looked because their achievements are downplayed or not stated at all.
  • Men have larger networks and therefore a wider reach than women. 85% of jobs are secured via network connections
  • Men frequently remove junior roles to give a more focused and senior directed profile. This is going to help older candidates beat some ATS which display years of experience. I don’t like to do this but this is what happens.
  • In the U.S., women on LinkedIn on average include 11% less skills than men on their LinkedIn profile, even at similar occupations and experience levels. This means that they will appear less frequently in searches for that particular skill. Women need to makes sure all their key skills are listed.
  • On average, LinkedIn members with five or more skills receive up to 17 times more profile views. If women don’t highlight enough skills they won’t appear in searches run by recruiters. This means that they don’t know what opportunities they are missing because they are not contacted.

Download: How to make the most of LinkedIn for career and business success

Women apply for different roles

There is a very strong gender segregation of women who are concentrated in pink skill silos. They are also found in more junior level roles.

External focus

We already know that women tend to focus promotion opportunities within organisations (Catalyst.) So now women  should understand the consequences of not being outwardly facing and presenting themselves externally in the best possible light. They run the risk of  being out of touch with the market, which is why they are quite frequently blind sided by shifts in the sector or even within their own organisations. Women spend more time on Facebook than their male counterparts. It’s just a question of making a shift to another platform for a short time per month.

Just do it!

Companies wanting to strengthen their female talent pipeline contact 3Plus NOW!

Note from Editor: Updated January 2020.

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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