27 year old barrister Charlotte Proudman set the internet alight this month by publicly naming and shaming a linkedin contact for sexism when he commented that she "won the prize for" best photo and referred to her as "stunning" on the social networking site.
Debates that followed indicated many women had similarly felt frustrated being judged on their appearance rather than their credentials online as well as offline.
Media coverage of the incident, including a seemingly reluctant apology from the gentleman involved, seemed to indicate that he hadn't realised his remarks could be viewed as offensive.
At The Women's Organisation we think that this shines light on the need for more education around gender equality. If we are to change mindsets then we need to tackle this issue head on.
Social networking can serve to magnify existing problems as it seems often inhibitions lowered when in comes to online communication and common sense can go out of the window.
As a result we have put together a number of social media for business training courses open to both men and women to raise awareness of appropriate business practices.
Our 'Maximise Linkedin for Business' course, as well as stepping you through the essentials of getting an 'expert' profile set up and building contacts, deals with how to approach potential contacts, and tone of contact. Perhaps if Mr Carter-Silk, the gentleman at the centre of this scandal, had attended such training he could have avoided a plethora of bad press and understood why his comments received such a backlash.
If you would like to find out more about our course available for just £25 per person, please follow this link: www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/businesstraining/linkedinforbusiness
More on the linkedin sexism row here.